Farm Bill Proves to be Crucial Lifeline for Calif. Agriculture, National Food Security

By William Bourdeau

As we continue to navigate the complex challenges of the 21st century, one thing remains clear: our nation’s food security is paramount. This truth is particularly evident in California, a state renowned for its agricultural diversity and productivity. The current deliberations over the Farm Bill, a key piece of federal legislation that shapes our agricultural policy, present us with a critical opportunity to secure the future of our food system.

The Farm Bill’s comprehensive approach to agricultural policy impacts every facet of our food system – from the major commodity crops that feed our nation, to the specialty crops that diversify our diets and support local economies. In California, these specialty crops, such as fruits, vegetables, and nuts, form the backbone of our agricultural sector. But our growers face unique challenges, including crop-specific diseases and pests, that require flexible, robust support programs.

Moreover, despite our rich agricultural diversity, a disconcerting health crisis persists: most Americans do not meet recommended fruit, vegetable and nut intake, contributing to widespread obesity and metabolic health issues. Addressing these problems is not just a health imperative, but a call for diversified agricultural support in the Farm Bill, particularly for our specialty crop growers.

These producers face additional challenges – from the perishable nature of their products, to structural barriers that limit their participation in USDA conservation programs. To ensure a robust and healthy food system, the Farm Bill must tackle these issues head-on. By bolstering support for specialty crop growers, we can enhance their role in conservation efforts, broaden their access to international markets, and contribute to healthier dietary choices for Americans.

The Farm Bill also plays an indispensable role in sustaining our rural communities. It is vital that the Rural Development title within the bill continues its commitment to fostering growth and prosperity in these areas. By supporting initiatives for water storage infrastructure and providing emergency community grants following natural disasters, and fostering public-private partnerships to generate capital for rural businesses and communities, this legislation can fuel the engine of rural development.

Crop insurance and standing disaster programs like the Noninsured Crop Assistance Program, Livestock Indemnity Program, Livestock Forage Disaster Program, Tree Assistance Program, and Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program are vital for managing risk and recovering from unexpected disasters. These programs provide a safety net, helping farmers weather the storms of uncertainty inherent in farming.

In addition to these considerations, the 2023 Farm Bill conservation title programs must be administered efficiently and effectively, supporting projects like irrigation modernization that provide multiple, stacked benefits, rather than focusing solely on climate fixes. Working lands programs such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, which is widely used in California, should be enhanced to continue assisting growers achieve greater conservation goals. Conservation program management should emphasize a stronger role for state and local decision-making, reflecting the unique needs and conditions of different regions.

Furthermore, much of the water we use in California and the West originates on forested land managed by federal agencies. It’s essential to restore these dead and dying forest lands through active forest management, and to better quantify watershed health improvements associated with these and other water conservation actions. Agencies like the U.S. Forest Service need to better manage the land and tackle critical challenges like wildfire, insects, and disease on an expedited schedule.

The Farm Bill plays a pivotal role in maintaining our national food security. In an era marked by global turmoil, with escalating water supply regulatory constraints and other systemic challenges, a stable domestic food supply chain is more crucial than ever.

The economic implications of the Farm Bill extend far beyond our fields and pastures. The bill impacts international trade, affecting our ability to compete in global markets. Without the support mechanisms in the Farm Bill, our competitiveness on the global stage, our domestic food security, and the resilience of our agricultural sector could be threatened.

However, the benefits that the Farm Bill brings will only be realized if it is passed. Failure to do so could have dire consequences. From potential supply chain disruptions to reduced international competitiveness and an increased risk of food insecurity, the stakes are high.

As citizens, we have a role to play. We must raise our voices, reach out to our representatives, and express our support for the Farm Bill. This legislation is not just about supporting farmers and ranchers; it’s about safeguarding our nation’s food security, bolstering our economy, and ensuring a sustainable future for all.

Now is the time to act. For the sake of California’s agricultural sector, and for the future of our national food security, we must stand together in support of the Farm Bill.

2023-05-25T10:50:27-07:00May 25th, 2023|

Agricultural Organizations Hold Heat Illness Prevention and Wildfire Smoke Training Session

On May 12, 2023 a coalition of agricultural organizations will hold two Heat Illness Prevention and Wildfire Smoke Training Sessions in

Easton, California. Manuel Cunha, Jr., President of Nisei Farmers League said, “we appreciate the staff and the efforts of the Department of Industrial Relations,

Cal/OSHA Consultation staff with their presentation of the safety message: WATER, REST, SHADE.” Jeff Killip, the Cal/OSHA Chief will attend the

afternoon session.

Cunha continued, “the efforts by all our agricultural partners, as well as Cal/OSHA is to educate employers and supervisors about the dangers of working in the heat and the dangers of wildfire smoke. We have held many educational sessions, sent out publications, had media events and continue to have ongoing outreach efforts throughout the State. Education is the key to reducing the number of heat illnesses and the dangers of wildfire smoke that we see in our fields.”

Attend one of the sessions on May 12, 2023 for the latest educational materials outlining high heat procedures and wildfire smoke training including

additional steps to be taken to ensure our employees safety. In addition, Carlos Suarez, State Conservationist for USDA-NRCS will be in attendance to discuss Flood Disaster Assistance Programs and answer your questions. He will be present for the Spanish and English Sessions. Joe Prado, Assistant Director, Fresno County Department of Public Health will bring Fresno County’s Rural Mobile Health Unit which offers medical services at no cost to agricultural workers and residents living in the rural communities of Fresno County. You can request the mobile unit at DPHMobileHealth@FresnoCountyCA.gov or call 559-600-4063.

Date: Friday, May 12, 2023

Time: Session One in Spanish 10:00 a.m. to noon

Session Two in English 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Place: C.P.D.E.S. Portuguese Hall, 172 W Jefferson Avenue Fresno

(referred to as the Easton Hall)

There is no cost for attending these training sessions. Donuts & coffee served.

We want to thank our agricultural partners listed below:

Fresno County Farm Bureau

Nisei Farmers League

Allied Grape Growers

American Pistachio Growers

Olive Growers Council of California

African American Farmers of California

California Cotton Ginners & Growers Association

California Fresh Fruit Association

California Apple Commission

California Blueberry Association

Tulare County Farm Bureau

Western Agricultural Processors Association

This should be attended by Farmers, Farm Labor Contractors, Packing Houses

and Processing Facilities Employers, Farm Managers, Crew Bosses, Foremen and Supervisors

Certificates of Completion will be issued at the end of each session by Cal-OSHA

2023-05-11T11:51:44-07:00May 10th, 2023|

Richard Smith retires after 37 years of translating science into solutions for vegetable growers

By: Pam Kan-Rice

For four decades, when a new plant disease infects fields of lettuce or a new regulation is issued for agriculture, vegetable farmers across the state have turned to Richard Smith, the University of California Cooperative Extension vegetable crops advisor, for answers. After 37 years of service with UCCE, Smith retired on Jan. 4.

“The whole industry has been dreading Richard’s retirement!” exclaimed Jennifer Clarke, executive director of the California Leafy Greens Research Program. “Richard is a wealth of knowledge and has a great ability to translate science into real-world practical solutions.”

In the past few years, the leafy greens industry has lost millions of dollars of crops due to infections of impatiens necrotic spot virus (INSV) and Pythium wilt. Smith is among the researchers investigating the diseases.

“Richard has conducted important variety trials and led efforts in identifying the ‘top 10’ weed hosts for INSV and strategies to reduce the wintertime ‘green bridge’ for this virus,” Clarke said.  

Smith also has kept policymakers informed of the latest research. In 2021, he testified before the Assembly Committee on Agriculture about leafy green plant diseases. 

A legacy of practical advice, service to community

By serving on numerous grower and county committees and working directly with growers, Smith has built a reputation for understanding growers’ needs and developing practical solutions. He has found it rewarding to see his research results used. 

“The research that I have conducted with my collaborators has helped the water board to better fit their regulations to the reality of farming and to minimize the economic constraints,” Smith said.

Smith and his colleague Michael Cahn, UCCE irrigation and water resources advisor, also have become trusted and respected voices when discussing AgOrder 4.0 with the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, according to Clarke. AgOrder 4.0 calls for farmers to reduce the amount of fertilizer they apply to crops. 

Field trials conducted by Smith and Cahn showed growers they could use nitrogen from high nitrate wells toward meeting a crop’s nutritional needs. 

“Richard has also done important research to develop nitrogen removal coefficients for AgOrder 4.0,” Clarke said. “Recently he and Eric Brennan of USDA-ARS (Agricultural Research Service) looked at cover crops and identified a system to predict shoot biomass and allow for nitrogen scavenging credits. His work has been pivotal in helping growers comply with AgOrder 4.0 in a cost-effective and realistic manner.”  

Growers also use his research to manage cadmium, a heavy metal that is naturally present in soils. 

“He led the effort to help growers find a best management practice that reduces cadmium uptake in various crops,” Clarke said. “The Central Coast has areas of productive agricultural land where there are naturally occurring shale deposits. The ability to amend soil to reduce plant uptake of this heavy metal has allowed these important production areas to continue to farm nutritious vegetables.”

‘Never had a bad day as a farm advisor’

Growing up in Watsonville, Smith began working at a young age in agriculture for summer jobs.

“I was in 4-H and got to know ag advisors and was always impressed by them,” Smith said. “I was fortunate to be able to work as an advisor for my career. I never had a bad day as a farm advisor – it was very satisfying working with growers and helping them with their issues.” 

Smith joined UC Cooperative Extension as a farm advisor intern in San Diego County and San Joaquin County in 1985 after earning his master’s degree in agronomy from UC Davis. In 1986, he moved to the Central Valley to serve as an interim farm advisor for San Joaquin County, then became a vegetable crops farm advisor for Stanislaus County in 1987. 

In 1989, Smith moved to the Central Coast to serve as UCCE small farms advisor for San Benito, Monterey and Santa Cruz counties. In 1999, he transitioned to UCCE vegetable crops and weed science farm advisor for those three counties, where he served for the rest of his career.

Mentoring the next generation of scientists

“Richard was my mentor, principal investigator on my first collaborative study at ANR, speaker at several of my extension events, and a dear colleague,” said Surendra Dara, former UCCE entomology and biologicals advisor and now director of Oregon State University’s North Willamette Research & Extension Center and professor of horticulture. “He is very kind, friendly, and most importantly has a good sense of humor. He is well-regarded both by his peers and stakeholders.”

Smith has been active in professional organizations, regularly attending the annual meetings of the American Society for Horticulture Science and the American Society of Agronomy. He served as president of the California Chapter of the American Society of Agronomy in 2014 and served on the board of the California Weed Science Society, which granted him the Award of Excellence in 2005 and an honorary membership in 2020.

As a public service, Smith served on the board of the Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association, and taught classes and conducted outreach to their Spanish-speaking clientele. He was a regular guest speaker for vegetable crop and weed science classes at CSU Fresno, CSU Monterey Bay, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Hartnell Community College and Cabrillo Community College. 

As he winds down his career, Smith has been mentoring new UCCE farm advisors and scientists who have joined USDA-Agricultural Research Service in Salinas and California State University, Monterey Bay, acquainting them with local issues.

“Richard’s leadership and mentorship has been critical in the development of my career as a new researcher at USDA-ARS in Salinas,” said Daniel K. Hasegawa, research entomologist in USDA-ARS’s Crop Improvement and Protection Research Unit. “Richard has taught me so much about agricultural practices in the Salinas Valley and has connected me with growers and pest control advisers, which has enhanced the impact of my own research, which includes projects addressing thrips and INSV.” 

Smith, who has been granted emeritus status by UC Agriculture and Natural Resources, plans to complete nitrogen research projects that are underway.

2023-03-01T14:07:18-08:00March 1st, 2023|

CALIFORNIA FRESH FRUIT ASSOCIATION ISSUES STATEMENT ON CVP WATER ALLOCATION ANNOUNCEMENT

The California Fresh Fruit Association (CFFA) has issued a statement in response to
today’s initial water allocation announcement of 35% for the Central Valley Project (CVP) by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

President Ian LeMay stated, “After two years of receiving an initial 0% allocation, the California Fresh Fruit Association and our members are grateful for the 35% that will go to the Central Valley Project contract holders. Having a reliable water supply is critical for our members to continue to be able to grow fresh fruit for our nation. However, after experiencing significant rainfall in December and January, it has been made even more apparent California’s need for improvements to our storage and conveyance infrastructure, as well as changes to the regulations that manage our water systems. I cannot help but wonder how much higher this allocation could have been with the ability to capture more water during the wet periods.”

CFFA will continue to advocate for needed changes to water regulations, along with additional water conveyance and infrastructure solutions at the federal and state levels to ensure that our members are able to provide the freshest fruit to the nation and world.

2023-02-23T07:44:21-08:00February 23rd, 2023|

Almond Board of California Announces 2023 Elections

By: Rick Kushman, Almond Board of California

Elections for the Almond Board of California (ABC) Board of Directors have launched for the 2023-2024 crop year with the call to all candidates to file their petitions or declarations of candidacy by April 1, 2023.

The industry will choose for one independent grower position and two independent handler positions on the ABC Board of Directors in voting that starts April 21 and ends May 25. Alternate seats for those spots are also open, plus a second grower alternate seat, currently empty, is also up for election.

To be considered for an independent grower or alternate seat, candidates must be a grower and must submit a petition signed by at least 15 independent almond growers (as verified by ABC). Independent handler and alternate candidates must declare their intention in writing to ABC.

All details, documents, open positions, the election timeline and deadlines, and frequently asked questions can be found at Almonds.com/Elections. All petitions and declarations must state the position for which the candidate is running and be sent to abcbodelections@almondboard.com or printed and mailed to ABC, 1150 9th St., Suite 1500, Modesto, CA 95354. The deadline for all filings is April 1. Potential candidates who’d like more information can contact ABC at abcbodelections@almondboard.com.

“The ABC Board of Directors is tremendously important to the success of our industry,” said ABC President and CEO Richard Waycott. “More than 7,600 growers and 100 handlers count on them to guide the work of the Almond Board and to help the industry navigate these complicated times.”

The ABC board sets policy and recommends budgets in major areas, including marketing, production research, public relations and advertising, nutrition research, statistical reporting, quality control and food safety.

Getting involved provides an opportunity to help shape the future of the almond industry and to help guide ABC in its mission to promote California almonds to domestic and international audiences through marketing efforts, funding and promoting studies about almonds’ health benefits, and ensuring best-of-class agricultural practices and food safety.

ABC encourages eligible women, minorities and people with disabilities to consider running for a position on the Board of Directors to reflect the diversity of the industry it serves.

2023-02-15T15:51:15-08:00February 15th, 2023|

California Fresh Fruit Association Announces Mentors’ Award Recipient and Keynote Speakers for Upcoming 87th Annual Meeting

The California Fresh Fruit Association (CFFA) is pleased to announce the recipient for the Mentors’ Award along with the speakers that will headline the Industry Workshops during its upcoming 87th Annual Meeting on March 12-14, 2023, at The Lodge at Torrey Pines.

The Association will honor Harold McClarty, of HMC Farms with the prestigious Mentors’ Award, which is bestowed to an individual who has demonstrated exceptional dedication to the California fresh grape, berry, and tree fruit communities through their leadership in the industry. McClarty is one of the leading family owned, vertically integrated tree fruit and table grape operations in California. He has served on the Western Growers, California Table Grape Commission and CFFA Board of Directors and has contributed to the future of agriculture by supporting programs at the local community college.

This year’s Industry Workshops will feature two sessions, one on Monday and another on Tuesday. On Monday, March 13th, the Industry Workshop will feature Ron Barsamian of Barsamian & Moody Attorneys at Law, who will provide an update on California labor issues.

On Tuesday, March 14th, attendees will hear from Lorren Walker of Elias Walker LLP, on the priorities taking place in Washington, D.C., as preparations begin for the 2023 Farm Bill. He will also discuss trade priorities within the Biden-Harris Administration and what we can expect from the new leadership in Congress following the midterm elections.

CFFA President Ian LeMay stated, “The Association leadership and staff is looking forward to the 87th Annual Meeting in La Jolla. We are excited to recognize Harold McClarty for his many contributions to the fresh fruit industry as well as to CFFA. Additionally, the Industry Workshops will each offer a vibrant discussion on the key issues the Association is focusing on behalf of the California fresh fruit industry.” Information regarding CFFA’s 87th Annual Meeting can be found here.

2023-02-15T12:05:50-08:00February 15th, 2023|

U.S. EPA Proposed Changes to Rodenticide Labels for Agricultural Use: Opportunity for Public Comment

By Roger A. Baldwin, Professor of Cooperative Extension, UC Davis and Niamh Quinn, Cooperative Extension Advisor, UC South Coast Research and Extension Center

Rodents cause substantial damage and health risks in agricultural productions systems through direct consumption of fruit, nuts, and vegetative material; damage to the plant (e.g., girdling of stems and trunks); by providing a food safety hazard from contamination; damage to irrigation infrastructure; damage to farm equipment; burrow systems posing a hazard to farm laborers; posing a health risk through potential disease transmission; and increased soil erosion by water channeling down burrow systems, among other potential damage outcomes. They also cause substantial damage and food contamination risks in livestock holding facilities, food processing facilities, barns, and other agricultural-related structures. As such, effective management is needed to minimize these risks. The use of rodenticides is often considered the most efficacious and cost-effective tool for managing rodent pests, and as such, it is often included in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs designed to mitigate rodent damage and health risks. Given the significance of rodenticides in managing rodent pests, it is important to know that the U.S. EPA has recently released a list of Proposed Interim Decisions (PIDs) for public comment that, if approved, will substantially alter if and how rodenticides may be used to manage rodent pests in the near future. As such, we felt it was important to inform California’s agricultural producers as to the extent of these proposed changes, and if you are so inclined, we have provided a link for you to provide public comment on the PIDs, as well as links to contact your Senate and Congressional representatives to ensure your opinion is heard.

All rodenticides are currently under review. These include first-generation anticoagulants (FGARs; chlorophacinone, diphacinone, and warfarin), second-generation anticoagulants (SGARs; brodifacoum, bromadiolone, difethialone, and difenacoum), zinc phosphide, strychnine, bromethalin, and cholecalciferol. Of these, only FGARs, zinc phosphide, and strychnine have labels for use against field rodents (e.g., ground squirrels, pocket gophers, voles, rats, and mice found in agricultural fields), but not all of these active ingredients can be used for all rodent species. As always, it is imperative to fully read a rodenticide’s label before determining if it is appropriate for use against a particular species and in a specific situation. That said, the following are some significant changes that have been proposed that you should be aware of. Other potential changes have been proposed as well, so please check out the PIDs for additional details (linked at the end of this document).

1. All rodenticides for field applications will become restricted-use products. This means that applicators will need to be certified to use restricted-use products in these settings. They will also have increased reporting requirements for their use.
2. Above ground applications would be eliminated in rangeland, pastureland, and fallow land. This is a substantial deviation, as many/most applications in these areas have traditionally been through broadcast applications or spot treatments. This change would leave only bait stations for ground squirrels and voles.
3. Within-burrow applications of FGARs will generally not be allowed in croplands during the growing season. This would eliminate FGAR application for pocket gophers for much of the year, and would eliminate it for all uses in some crops (e.g., citrus and alfalfa in certain areas of the state).
4. Carcass searches will be required every day or every two days (starting 3-4 days after the initial application), depending on the product used and where applied, for at least two weeks after the last application of the rodenticide. When carcasses are found, they must be disposed of properly. Any non-target mortalities must be reported to the U.S. EPA. Collectively, this will require a major increase in labor, potentially making rodenticide applications impractical in many settings.
5. Extensive endangered species designations are anticipated that will limit or eliminate the potential to apply rodenticides. This could have large-scale impacts, although the full extent is not known at this time.
6. New labels will require the use of a PF10 respirator and chemical resistant gloves during application. This is a substantial change for some rodenticide labels, requiring fit testing for all applicators, with the requirement of respirators ultimately making rodenticide application more physically challenging.

Additional details on these proposed changes can be found at the following websites:

1. Anticoagulant PID: https://www.regulations.gov/document/EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0778-0094
2. Zinc phosphide PID: https://www.regulations.gov/document/EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0140-0031
3. Strychnine PID: https://www.regulations.gov/document/EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0754-0025
4. Bromethalin and cholecalciferol PID: https://www.regulations.gov/document/EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0077-0024

As mentioned previously, these proposed changes are likely to have a substantial impact on the use of rodenticides in agricultural settings. However, these changes are currently open for public comment. If you would like to comment on these proposed changes, the required links and useful guidance can be found at the following website: https://responsiblerodenticides.org/.

You may also comment on these proposed changes to your Senate and Congressional representatives. If you are unsure who they are or how to contact them, check out: https://www.congress.gov/contact-us.

The deadline for making comments to the U.S. EPA is unfortunately short, with a final deadline of February 13, 2023. Therefore, you will need to provide your comments in short order.

2023-02-09T11:05:06-08:00February 9th, 2023|

California Farm Bureau Congratulates Speaker McCarthy

By Peter Hecht, California Farm Bureau

California Farm Bureau President Jamie Johansson applauds California’s Kevin McCarthy on his election as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

“As a former member of the House Agricultural Committee who hails from California’s vital Kern County farming region, Speaker McCarthy has long been an advocate for farmers and ranchers in the Golden State,” Johansson said. “He understands the importance of the nation’s leading agricultural economy and its bounty of ‘California-Grown’ products, which feed America and the world beyond. We look forward to partnering with Speaker McCarthy on key issues to help California farmers, ranchers and agricultural businesses prosper for generations to come.”

2023-01-10T09:57:51-08:00January 10th, 2023|

California Farm Bureau Reacts to ‘Waters of U.S.’ Rule

By Peter Hecht, California Farm Bureau

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Dec. 30 released the revised definition of the “Waters of the United States” rule to redefine waters protected under the federal Clean Water Act. This new rule will replace the Navigable Waters Protection Rule.

California Farm Bureau President Jamie Johansson expressed his concerns on behalf of farmers, ranchers and agricultural businesses in the state.

“This rule will have a substantial effect on our members and the ability of our farmers and ranchers in California to continue to utilize their land,” Johansson said. “We are particularly concerned about small farms and ranches needing costly legal or consulting expertise to farm ground they have already thoughtfully and sustainably stewarded.”

2023-01-03T14:09:54-08:00January 3rd, 2023|

USDA Climate-Smart Agriculture Projects Now top $3 Billion

By Scott McFetridge, Associated Press

The federal government on Monday announced another $325 million for agricultural projects that are intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The latest list of 71 recipients for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Climate-Smart Commodities program primarily involve small and underserved farmers and ranchers. The payments follow $2.8 billion awarded in September to 70 projects, mostly larger-scale efforts backed by universities, businesses and agricultural groups.

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the latest round of funding at Tuskegee University, a historically Black college in Alabama, saying it’s vital that small operations benefit from the program.

“It’s important that we send a message that it’s not about the size of your operation, that you don’t only benefit from the programs like this if you’re a large-scale producer,” Vilsack told The Associated Press. “If you’re a producer that historically has not been able to participate fully and completely in programs at USDA, that this program is going to be different.”

The goal of the program is to use financial incentives to expand markets for producers who implement practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. More than 1,000 proposals have been submitted to the USDA to participate in the program.

The underserved farmers and ranchers who would benefit from the latest funding are those who are beginners, from socially disadvantaged communities, veterans and those with limited financial resources.

The projects announced Monday, with funding ranging from $250,000 to $4.9 million, include:

— $4.9 million to promote urban, mainly Black, farmers who grow and market crops in Alabama, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi and South Carolina.

— $4.9 million to help small and socially disadvantaged farmers in San Diego County, California, by improving soil health through applying compost, reducing tillage of the land and growing trees and shrubs.

— $3 million to help farmers in over 60 Texas counties adopt practices such as regenerative agriculture, which builds healthy soil that is more resistant to drought and heat.

— $4.9 million to help farmers in 10 states and on tribal land grow barley on land using regenerative practices and to pay a premium for crops from those farms.

Agriculture causes an estimated 11% of the nation’s climate-warming emissions, and President Joe Biden has set a goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by half in the U.S. by 2030.

Timothy Searchinger, a senor research scholar at Princeton University’s Center for Policy Research on Energy and the Environment, said he welcomes the surge in federal spending to learn how to reduce agricultural emissions and implement practices. However, even as those ideas are tried out in dozens of spots around the country, it still will take years to study the results and replicate what works.

“There are lots of promising ideas, but they are generally not in broad use,” Searchinger said. “There are lots of good ideas about what you can do but they haven’t been proven out.”

After the climate-smart money is awarded, Vilsack said there would be a concerted effort to monitor what programs succeeded and those that struggled so the efforts could be replicated elsewhere in the U.S. and other parts of the world.

“We think this is an effort to really unify this effort on climate, not make it a divisive approach but one that unifies American agriculture and forest landowners and a concerted effort to improve income opportunities, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to store carbon, to create healthier soils and clean water,” Vilsack said.

2022-12-13T16:12:49-08:00December 13th, 2022|
Go to Top