AGRICULTURE

AGRICULTURE


Agriculture (primarily industrial), originating in the US, contributed about 9% of greenhouse gas emissions in 2017, according to the EPA. However, the food system at large, including feed, fertilizer and pesticide manufacture, processing, transportation, refrigeration and waste disposal, contributes about 30% or more of total annual global greenhouse gas emissions. Recent data from the Rodale Institute indicates that we could sequester more than 100% of our current annual CO 2 emissions with a switch to widely available and inexpensive organic management practices, commonly called “regenerative organic agriculture.” “These practices,” says the report, “work to maximize carbon fixation while minimizing the loss of that carbon once returned to the soil, reversing the greenhouse effect.” Additionally, organic and regenerative agricultural practices have proven to improve air quality. Another study by the Rodale Institute has found just one acre of organically farmed land can subtract up to 7000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.

Cropland occupies about one-fifth of U.S. land. One-third of our entire corn crop is devoted to ethanol production with most cropland being used for livestock feed, exports or left idle to let the land recover. The actual land area used to grow the food Americans eat is much smaller—only about the size of Indiana, Illinois and half of Iowa combined. More than one-third of U.S. land is used for pasture—by far the largest land-use type in the contiguous 48 states. There’s a single, major occupant on all this land: cows. Between cropland —used to produce feed-- and pastures, 41 percent of U.S. land in the contiguous states revolves around livestock. All this from Bloomberg.

As a consumer and as a farmer, there is a lot to know when it comes to our shifting food system. Learning the language allows for consumers to ask for products that are being managed using Zero Carbon footprint. Understanding agricultural issues and practices help support farmers and our need to shift to sustainable practices.

CURRENT NEWS

KEY RESOURCES

Colorado research farm studies benefits of pairing agriculture with solar panels

10/25/21
Fields of solar panels are increasingly common across the country. And people are exploring new ways to use the land under and around the arrays. Some farm vegetables. Others graze sheep or grow pollinator plants…

What is “soil carbon”? – Soils Matter, Get the Scoop!

10/01/21
You may have heard a lot about soil carbon, “storing” carbon in soil, or “carbon markets.” So, let’s look at the relationship between soil and carbon in basic terms.

Harvesting Peril Extreme Weather and Climate Change on the American Farm

07/02/21
Farmers are on the frontline of climate change, at the mercy of worsening extreme weather. Farms also contribute to the problem. But they could help solve it, through practices that could store billions of tons…

Stone Edge Farm

06/14/21
Imagine a lush, self-sustaining island that generates clean electricity, grows organic food and wine grapes, re-uses water, and creates fuel for zero emission vehicles.

New Climate Maps Show a Transformed United States

11/28/20
According to new data from the Rhodium Group analyzed by ProPublica and The New York Times Magazine, warming temperatures and changing rainfall will drive agriculture and temperate climates northward, while sea level rise will consume…

Sustainability in American Agriculture Defining “Sustainable Agriculture” For All of Us

06/25/20
"Sustainability" is a word often associated with food and farming. Everyone wants to know that their food was sustainably raised, harvested, processed, and even consumed. However, does anyone actually know what sustainability is, or what…

Sustainable Agriculture

06/24/20
This system, with its reliance on monoculture, mechanization, chemical pesticides and fertilizers, biotechnology, and government subsidies, has made food abundant and affordable. However, the ecological and social price have been steep: erosion, depleted and contaminated…

Online Adaptation Planning And Practices Course (Free)

06/11/20
A unique hands-on virtual training to consider the impacts of climate change adaptation responses in real-world natural resource management planning. This seven-week long virtual course is for natural resource management professionals working in forests, urban…

The industry’s most comprehensive agricultural data platform with unparalleled insights and forecasts.

02/06/20
Gro brings the power of forecasting to your agriculture-related challenges. We organize vast amounts of global data into a common language, allowing you to quickly find the data you need and integrate your own data,…

Agribusiness and Climate Change: How Six Food Industry Giants Are Warming the Planet

02/05/20
Agriculture's critical dependence on fossil fuels and the clearing of forests, grasslands and prairies for farming are the top two factors responsible for today's massive global increases in CO2.

What is Regenerative Agriculture?

02/05/20
“Regenerative Agriculture” describes farming and grazing practices that, among other benefits, reverse climate change by rebuilding soil organic matter and restoring degraded soil biodiversity – resulting in both carbon drawdown and improving the water cycle.

The 9% lie: industrial food and climate change

02/05/20
The Climate Emergency is finally getting the attention of the media and the U.S. (and world) body politic, as well as a growing number of politicians, activists and even U.S. farmers.

Our Impact on Climate Change and Global Land Use in 5 Charts

08/09/19
In addition to tackling emissions in our cities and transportation networks, we’ll need to substantially change the way we use our land and rethink our entire agricultural system if we’re serious about mitigating the impact of…

OECD – Trade and Agriculture

07/31/19
The Trade and Agriculture Directorate is one of twelve substantive departments of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and provides policy analysis and advice to help governments develop trade, agriculture, and fisheries policies that contribute to more inclusive…

USDA – United States of Department of Agriculture

07/31/19
The USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) conducts research on a range of climate change issues, including: The impacts of climate change on crop and livestock production; the implications of climate change for food security; the international…

Stone Barns

07/31/19
Stone Barns invests in farming that is resilient and regenerative, so that they can grow a vibrant way of farming that delivers fresh and healthy food to more Americans.

Environmental Protection Agency

07/31/19
Their mission is to protect human health and the environment. Learn more about their mission and what we do.

Eco-Farm

07/31/19
The Ecological Farming Association (EcoFarm) is a non-profit educational organization whose mission is to nurture safe, healthy, just, and ecologically sustainable farms, food systems, and communities by bringing people together for education, alliance building, advocacy, and…

FAO – Food and Agriculture of the United Nations

06/24/19
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Our goal is to achieve food security for all and make sure that people have…

MORE NEWS

The Food System’s Carbon Footprint Has Been Vastly Underestimated

By Greta Moran   06/30/21  
As drought, heatwaves, and hurricanes ramp up for the summer, and the United Nations’ Food Systems Summit draws near, a group of scientists and policy experts hope to send a clear message about just how big a…

World’s Largest Producer of Potatoes Commits to 100 Percent Regenerative Agriculture by 2030

By Sarah Lozanova   06/11/21  
When McCain released its latest sustainability report, the company also committed to embracing regenerative agriculture. The world’s largest producer of frozen potato products - from waffle-cut fries to treats that look like a smiley-faced emoji

Frozen Potato Giant McCain Commits to ‘Regenerative’ Agriculture

By Sami Grover  Photo: Paula Daniëlse / Getty Images   06/09/21  
When the United Kingdom-based supermarket chain Morrisons announced it was aiming to shift all U.K. farm suppliers to net-zero, it made "regenerative agriculture" a central plank of that effort. It was, at the time, a…

An enormous missing contribution to global warming may have been right under our feet

By Chris Mooney  Photo: Bay Ismoyo/AFP/Getty Images   06/05/21  
Long before the era of fossil fuels, humans may have triggered a massive but mysterious “carbon bomb” lurking beneath the Earth’s surface, a new scientific study suggests. If the finding is correct, it would mean…

US propels vision of global farm tech solutions to climate change

By Bill Tomson   05/26/21  
The U.S. doesn’t just want to employ modern farming technology and practices to combat climate change. It wants to work with governments and the private sector around the globe to collaborate on research through a…

Agriculture emits a ‘forgotten greenhouse gas.’ Scientists are looking for solutions in the soil

By Ula Chrobak and The Conversation   05/26/21  
As nations and industries try to cut greenhouse gas emissions to tackle climate change, agricultural practices are in the spotlight. There’s good reason for that: Agriculture accounts for 16 to 27 percent of human-caused climate-warming…

New USDA report details climate-smart agriculture efforts

05/24/21  
The U.S. Department of Agriculture this week published a 90-day progress report on climate-smart agriculture and forestry strategies. USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack says the report represents an important step in President Biden’s executive order on…

Take Action: Ensure Regenerative Agriculture Incorporates Organic Standards in Order to Fight Climate Change

By Beyond Pesticides   05/24/21  
Agriculture is a major contributor to climate change. In a recent article in Science, Clark et al. show that even if fossil fuel emissions were eliminated immediately, emissions from the global food system alone would make…

Carbon storage offers hope for climate, cash for farmers

By John Flesher  Photo: AP Photo/John Flesher   05/21/21  
ORIENT, Ohio (AP) — The rye and rapeseed that Rick Clifton cultivated in central Ohio were coming along nicely — until his tractor rumbled over the flat, fertile landscape, spraying it with herbicides. These crops…

The central challenge for regenerative agriculture advocates: Not undermining the movement by ‘overselling’ its limited and targeted advantages

By Marc Brazeau  Photo: PepsiCo   05/18/21  
The term regenerative farming first popped up in the mainstream media in a 1987 New York Times article about what eventually would be widely referred to as ‘organic farming’. But there wasn’t an organic certification…

Regenerative agriculture: The movement dedicated to unseating intensive, ‘industrial farming’

By Marc Brazeau  Photo: Colourbox   05/17/21  
For the last century, each generation has produced an alternative approach to farming that is aimed at a central challenge of its time. Today regenerative agriculture has picked up that mantle with the promise to…
FP

Big Agriculture Is Leading to Ecological Collapse

By Matthew R. Sanderson  Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images   05/17/21  
Change is in the air. U.S. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines announced climate change is “at the center of the country’s national security and foreign policy.” Business-as-usual is no longer a viable strategy as…

How Does Soil Pull Carbon out of the Atmosphere?

By Logan Hailey   05/12/21  
Amidst concerns about catastrophic climate change, carbon sequestration is all the rage these days. Carbon sequestration is basically the process of pulling carbon out of the atmosphere and storing it natural reservoirs such as soil.…

Agroforestry: Growing money on trees?

By Parker Hughes   05/12/21  
Progress: On a global scale, humankind is facing an environmental crisis connected to the way we use and abuse the land. Modern agriculture's reliance on monocultures (one-crop production systems) threatens the fertility of our soil.…

Meat production leads to thousands of air quality-related deaths annually

By Sarah Gibbens   05/11/21  
Air pollution remains a major cause of death in the United States, one usually associated with tailpipe exhaust and factory and power plant smokestacks. Now new research shows that 16,000 U.S. deaths are the result…

Agriculture linked to one-fifth of U.S. air pollution deaths

By Chuck Abbott  Photo: David Ekstrom   05/11/21  
Air pollution is the largest environmental mortality risk in the United States, responsible for 100,000 premature deaths annually, and one-fifth of those deaths are linked to agriculture, said research published by the National Academy of…

Air pollution from farms leads to 17,900 U.S. deaths per year, study finds

By Sarah Kaplan  Photo: Alex Wroblewski/Bloomberg News   05/10/21  
The smell of hog feces was overwhelming, Elsie Herring said. The breezes that wafted from the hog farm next to her mother’s Duplin County, N.C., home carried hazardous gases: methane, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide.

Tackling climate challenge through food and agricultural innovation

By Ryan Hobert and Opinion Contributor  Photo: Thinkstock   05/06/21  
Buried among the flurry of announcements made at the Leaders Summit on Climate was a new initiative to address a substantial driver of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions: food systems. One-third of global emissions come from the production, distribution…

Agriculture At Risk Due To Climate Change

By Chantal Vaca  Photo: Andrew Pritchard/Illinois Public Media   05/04/21  
In 2020, the world saw a record of 30 storms in the Atlantic hurricane season, apocalyptic-like forest fires in California and Australia and a pandemic that stopped the world in its tracks. As climate change…

5 Ways the Government Can Tackle Food Waste in America

By Katherine Martinko  Photo: Getty Images / Joe Raedle   04/12/21  
Up to 40% of food is wasted in America. Now, some organizations have given Congress an action plan.  Sometimes it fails to get harvested or it spoils during transport; other times it does not get…

Climate change-driven ‘Midwest water hose’ caused massive 2019 flooding in Iowa, elsewhere, UI researchers find

By Donnelle Eller  Photo by Nati Harnik/AP Photo   03/02/21  
Flooding that burst through levees, swamped farms and inundated homes and businesses in cities and towns across Iowa, Nebraska and other Midwestern states two years ago is part of a climate change-driven weather phenomenon that…

Scott, Thompson Agree, Disagree on Climate Change

03/02/21  
Committee Chair David Scott, of Georgia, says changes in weather patterns bring serious risks to production agriculture, forest resources and the overall economy. He says, “These risks cannot be understated.

Factory Farms: New EPA Emissions Data Should Guide Biden on Agriculture and Climate

By Ben Lilliston  Photo by Spencer Weiner/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images   03/01/21  
The EPA’s inventory tracks GHGs from all sectors in the U.S. from 1990 to 2019, and conforms to reporting guidelines set by the United Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Setting emissions reduction goals and…

3 Transformative Technologies That Will Revolutionize The Planet

02/12/21  
AGRICULTURE’S IMPACT ON THE PLANET is massive and relentless. Roughly 40 percent of the Earth’s suitable land surface is used for cropland and grazing. The number of domestic animals far outweighs the remaining wild populations.…

A “forever” drought takes shape in the West

By Jennifer A. Kingson  Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios   01/14/21  
The Southwest U.S. is mired in an ever-worsening drought, one that has left deer starving in Hawaii, turned parts of the Rio Grande into a wading pool, and set a record in Colorado for the most days of "exceptional drought."

Using solar energy and agriculture to limit climate change, assist rural communities

By Sean Nealon   01/05/21  
Co-developing land for both solar photovoltaic power and agriculture could provide 20% of total electricity generation in the United States with an investment of less than 1% of the annual U.S. budget, a new paper…

Growing citrus in the Midlands with Climate Change

By Alex Calamia   10/13/20  
Citrus were once a fruit that didn't have a chance in the Midlands of South Carolina, but many gardeners are having luck in recent years. Temperatures are trending warmer across the Midlands, and across the…

The Soil Revolution That Could Save Farming And The Climate

By Alexander C. Kaufman   09/25/20  
Joe Biden and other Democrats are backing regenerative farming, which pulls carbon from the atmosphere and restores nutrients to soil. But is it ready for prime time?

Watch: Climate change threatens Nebraska agriculture

By Todd Henrichs   09/25/20  
For this in-depth project examining the impact of climate change on Nebraska, the College of Journalism and Mass Communications opened the rigorous application process to all students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In the end,…

Sheep, ag and sun: Agrivoltaics propel significant reductions in solar maintenance costs

By Lynn Freehill-Maye  Photo by Jake Janske   08/04/20  
As the U.S. solar industry expands, arrays are spreading across more land — and the cost of keeping the sun on those panels through vegetation management is rising. A one-shot solution to both the land-use…

As climate change alters growing seasons, scientists dig into a novel approach to boosting crop resilience

By Allison Gacad  Photo: Sally Mackenzie   06/17/20  
Epigenetic modification of plants shows promise for enhancing food security — but we still have a lot to learn....

CCL applauds Senators for bipartisan ag, climate bill

06/04/20  
CCL applauds Sens. Braun, Stabenow, Graham & Whitehouse for agriculture, climate bill WASHINGTON, D.C., June 4, 2020 — Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN), Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)…

Growing Nitrogen Footprint Threatens Our Air, Water and Climate

By Carla Cantor   03/05/20  
Industrial farming in the temperate climates has been seen as the main cause of nitrogen pollution, but tropical agriculture emissions are catching up. ...

Is Trump’s USDA Ready to Address Climate Change?

By Georgina Gustin   02/14/20  
A new 5-year plan addresses weather disasters that have battered American farms and mentions climate change. Critics are dubious.

Farmers and funders get behind push to reinvent agriculture in an era of climate change

By Diana Hembree   02/03/20  
The Regenerative Agriculture Foundation, which aims to change how farmers and ranchers work their land, is at the forefront of one of the hottest movements in...

The Key to the Environmental Crisis is Beneath Our Feet

By Ellen Brown   01/28/20  
The Green New Deal resolution that was introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives in February hit a wall in the Senate, where it was called unrealistic and unaffordable. In a Washington Post article titled…

Farmers’ experience of climate change doesn’t alter politics, study says

By Bryce Oates   11/23/19  
Farmers see climate change as a business challenge, not a political cause that requires public action, according to a qualitative study in the Midwest. Farmers understand that the climate is changing but don’t favor collective…

The Greenhouse Gas No One’s Talking About: Nitrous Oxide on Farms, Explained

By Gosia Wozniacka   10/19/19  
Nitrous oxide gets much less attention in ag circles than carbon dioxide and methane, but it’s 300 times more powerful at warming the planet.

As Water Sources Dry Up, Arizona Farmers Feel the Heat of Climate Change

By Meg Wilcox  Photo by Meg Wilcox   10/06/19  
Farms in central Arizona will soon lose access to Colorado River water, impacting farmers, cities, and Native communities.

With $100, You Too Can Invest in Regenerative Agriculture

By Lisa Held   10/02/19  
Fisheye Farms got started in Detroit’s West Village neighborhood in 2015 with just 1,200 square feet of raised bed space. The farmers discovered quickly that the city’s resurgent restaurant scene meant there was plenty of demand…

The Farm Belt’s Miserable Year

By Jesse Newman, Kirk Maltais, Yaryna Serkez   09/25/19  
The trade war and bad weather are conspiring to create enormous challenges for U.S. farmers...

Investment in Regenerative Agriculture Connects the Dots Between Soil and Plate

By Nancy Matsumoto   09/17/19  
The public and private sectors are rapidly picking up efforts to ramp up carbon farming.  

With regenerative agriculture booming, the question of pesticide use looms large

By Gosia Wozniacka   09/05/19  
Regenerative practitioners say that healthy soil eventually leads to reducing synthetic chemicals. But some advocates say those chemicals have damaging effects and should be addressed....

Bonterra Digs In, Reduces Carbon with Regenerative Farming

By Laurel Sheppard   08/15/19  
One company embracing regenerative farming is California’s Bonterra Organic Vineyards, which recently concluded that this practice stores more carbon in the soil than conventional farming methods.
CNN

Michael Mann: ‘Agriculture needs systemic change’

08/10/19  
Professor of Atmospheric Science at Penn State University Michael Mann speaks to Christiane Amanpour about the IPCC latest "Climate Change and Land" report....

Innovation Rush to Help Farmers Rich and Poor, to Beat Climate Change

By Laurie Goering  Photo: Bloomberg   07/30/19  
Crop insurance works too well for farmers who farm without regard for long-term soil health, and not well enough for the few who do. A new task force wants to change that.

If Crop Insurance Rewarded Conservation Practices, Would More Farmers Go No-Till?

By Jessica McKenzie  Photo: Office of Missouri Governor / Flickr   07/30/19  
Crop insurance works too well for farmers who farm without regard for long-term soil health, and not well enough for the few who do. A new task force wants to change that.

Tim Ryan on Food and Agriculture

By Maggie Astor  Photo: The New York Times   07/30/19  
Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio has made agriculture and food policy a centerpiece of his presidential campaign.

Shifting Seasons

07/15/19  
The growing seasons are shifting. Spring is arriving earlier, winters are shorter, and the number of freezing days is declining. These changes affect the timing of many life cycle events, such as when flowers bloom…

Managed Grazing: Mob Grazing on Brown Ranch North Dakota

Photo: Paul Brown/Brown's Ranch   07/15/19  
Grazing animals create extraordinary environments—witness the Serengeti plains and tall grass prairies of the United States. Where original grasslands are still intact, they are abundant lands with carbon-rich soils. They benefit from the activity of…