Climate Change & Sustainable Agriculture
With the world population estimated to reach 9 billion by 2050, the entire agriculture supply chain must work together to efficiently and responsibly lay the groundwork for the future. Not only do farmers look to their ag retailer for advice to boosts yields and profits, they are increasingly seeking out agronomic insights that also help improve soil, water and other natural resources.
- Support a menu of voluntary federal policy options to encourage carbon sequestration, including:
- Performance-based tax credit modeled after 45Q carbon capture credit.
- USDA-led Commodity Credit Corporation carbon bank.
- Provide a one-time payment for early adopters
- Support passage of the Growing Climate Solutions Act.
Changes to USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
- Increase NRCS funding to reflect program needs and enhance work on GHG mitigation and adaptation.
- Enhance conservation technical assistance related to soil health and climate outcomes.
- Streamline the NRCS conservation practice approval process. Incentivize contracts that improve soil carbon and climate resilience.
- Support the use of cover crops to support soil health and cropland sustainability efforts.
Capacity Building for State-Level Soil Health Efforts
- Establish a USDA grant program to help states improve soil health on agricultural lands.
- Direct USDA to conduct a study on the interaction between crop insurance and soil health practices.
While the public has a growing interest in how food, fiber, and fuel is produced, the agricultural community continues to find innovative ways to increase efficiency and produce more with less, while protecting the environment. As farming becomes increasingly complex, many factors must be considered by farmers as they make decisions about planting; fertilizing; managing for disease and pests; and conserving energy, soil and water. A new opportunity emerges for ag retailers to help farmers navigate this complex decision matrix by combining agronomic advice with sustainability insights to drive continuous improvement in the productivity, profitability and environmental outcomes of farmers’ operations.
ARA members are committed to finding innovative ways to increase efficiency and produce more with less, while protecting the environment's natural resources.
ARA is a leading voice in the Sustainability Programming for Ag Retailers and Certified Crop Advisors (SPARC) Initiative. By providing voluntary, incentive-based tools to farmers, ranchers and forest owners, they are able to maximize the sequestration of carbon and the reduction of other greenhouse gas emissions, as well as increase the resilience of the land. ARA also in favor of:
- Supporting the development and oversight of private sector markets for GHG credits.
- Promoting public and private sector tools to incentivize farmers, ranchers and forest owners to prioritize and scale climate-smart practices.
- Offering incentives for farmers to reduce energy consumption, increase use of on-farm renewable energy, and make continued progress toward reducing the lifecycle GHG emissions of agriculture- and forestry-based renewable energy.
- Increasing federal investment in agriculture, forestry and food-related research substantially and continuously.
Food & Ag Climate Alliance
ARA is a member of the Food & Ag Climate Alliance, a coalition consisting of organizations representing all sectors of America’s agricultural industry as well as forest owners, the food sector and environmental advocates working together to define and promote shared climate policy priorities. Progress in addressing climate change and promoting sustainable agricultural practices can only be achieved by:
- Supporting voluntary, market- and incentive-based policies.
- Advancing peer reviewed, science-based outcomes.
- Promoting resilience and helping rural economies better adapt to climate change.