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USDA encouraging climate-smart Ag practices

Photo courtesy of USDA

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is encouraging producers to engage in climate-smart agricultural practices.

In January, President Biden signed an executive order to tackle the climate crisis at home and abroad. The order states that, “America’s farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners have an important role to play in combating the climate crisis and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, by sequestering carbon in soils, grasses, trees, and other vegetation and sourcing sustainable bioproducts and fuels.”

According to Jimmy Bramblett – NRCS Deputy Chief for Programs – climate-smart Ag should be considered the technologies and practices that will position agriculture to be successful in changing climate.

“One of the things we often say is farmers are often the best environmentalists out there across the landscape,” said Bramblett. “At NRCS, we work with them to help address a whole range of resource concerns that are related to soil, water, air, plants and animals. We have about 170 conservation practices that help them address those resource concerns on their operations.”

“In so doing,” he continued, “we’re helping them on their farm sustain their farm operations. It’s kind of an economic blueprint for them, but for the rest of society, we all enjoy many of those soil, water, air, plant and animal-related goods. If you think about water, it doesn’t stop at a property boundary. Air quality doesn’t recognize geographic boundaries. Wildlife move to and from.”

In May, USDA published a 90-day progress report on climate-smart Ag and forestry strategies. USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said the report helps USDA shift towards a whole-of-department approach to climate solutions.

The National Corn Growers Association has said it looks forward to continuing to work with the Biden Administration to enable opportunities for corn farmers to be part of the climate solution.