National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson addressed members of the Western Association of State Departments of Agriculture (WASDA) today at a meeting in Whitefish, Mont.
Johnson led a discussion on climate and energy policy, noting the significant impacts climate has on agricultural production. Altered precipitation patterns, reduced marketable yields, increased crop damage risks, decreased productivity and increased disease and pestilence pressure are a few of the adverse effects that have already been noted and studied, prompting the need for a solution. Johnson also outlined the potential for agriculture to play a role in providing solutions for our nation’s climate and energy needs.
“NFU has long supported climate and energy legislation that is beneficial to agriculture,” said Johnson. “Multiple studies have found significant financial gains for U.S. farmers and ranchers, confirming that there is definitely a place for agriculture to play a vital role in the solution to this growing problem.”
According to a University of Tennessee study, under a properly constructed climate and energy program allowing for multiple practices, net returns for virtually all major crops are positive. Income from offsets and from market revenues is higher than any potential increase in input cost including energy and fertilizer.
“Placing regulations on producers is not the best approach to climate and energy policy,” said Johnson. “Increases in input costs could be sufficiently offset by income from carbon and renewable energy.”
NFU will continue to work with Congress to provide a climate and energy policy that includes the U.S. Department of Agriculture as the lead agency in charge of agricultural offsets; consultations with farmers and ranchers; opportunities for early actors and stackable credits; and a science-based approach to carbon credits.
Posted by Kaci Switzer