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
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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 somewhat remarkable sign of just how far the concept of regenerative agriculture has come.
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 emissions, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). But much of these emissions are not from carbon dioxide, that familiar climate change villain. They’re from another gas altogether: nitrous oxide.
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 tackling the climate crisis at home and abroad, and shifts towards a whole-of-department approach to climate solutions.
Take Action: Ensure Regenerative Agriculture Incorporates Organic Standards in Order to Fight Climate Change
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 it impossible to limit warming to 1.5°C and difficult even to realize the 2°C target. According to the International Panel of Climate Change, agriculture and forestry account for as much as 25% of human-induced GHG emissions. The contribution of animal agriculture has been estimated at 14.5% to 87% or more of total GHG emissions. These estimates include emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ammonia. The carbon dioxide contribution largely comes from converting land from natural forest to pasture or cropland.
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 weren’t meant to be eaten, but to occupy the ground between Clifton’s soybean harvest last fall and this spring’s planting. Yet thanks to their environmental value, he’ll still make money from them.
The central challenge for regenerative agriculture advocates: Not undermining the movement by ‘overselling’ its limited and targeted advantages
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 program to codify the various strains of low input farming that were percolating at the time.
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 mitigate and perhaps reverse climate change by transforming farming into an engine of carbon sequestration. The claims being made by the most fervent advocates are contentious and contested. But even skeptics see real promise if the systems can be improved and applied where they can do the most good.