North American Climate Smart Agriculture Alliance Looks for Solutions
June 25, 2019
Solutions From The Land on System Implementation
By Jessica Theisman, Associate Editor
California Ag Today recently spoke with Ernie Shea, president of Solutions From the Land. He explained the importance of system implementation and the North American Climate-Smart Agriculture Alliance.
“Our primary areas of focus at the moment are clean energy, climate change, and soil and water conservation in the 21st century,” he said.
They are integrating these areas of focus and the systems involved. There is still a need to find a solution for profitability.
“The biggest and important areas of focus is finding a way to respond to the changing climatic conditions and deliver solutions that create wealth and job opportunities for agriculture,” Shea said.
North American Climate Smart Agriculture Alliance is looking for ways to deliver solutions.
“We have created the North American Climate Smart Agriculture Alliance, and it is the continental platform for farm and conservation groups that are looking at ways these landscapes can deliver solutions,” Shea explained.
There are conversations taking place at the state level about becoming more sustainable, resilient, and participating in the low carbon economy.
“Carbon sequestration is one of the more exciting new areas of opportunity that are coming for agriculture,” Shea said.
Farming has been framed as a problem in the past.
“Oftentimes, we're framed as the problem child,” Shea said.
When managing a farming operation, good solid conservation practices are important.
“No-till cover crops are an example that you are increasing the organic content. You are sequestering carbon at a scale that goes beyond what people originally gave us credit for it,” Shea explained.
Well-managed agricultural systems help on many levels. In the upper Midwest, there are continuous corn operations, even no-till corn operations.
“They were measuring the carbon content in the first meter, and they weren't realizing that the root systems, we're pulling carbon down well below one meter down to two meters in deeper,” Shea said.
These monoculture landscapes are labeled as something bad. This landscape, in particular, was a critically needed solution. Well-managed agricultural systems can deliver food, feed, fiber, energy, and environmental services.
“If we can figure out a way to create a monitoring and measuring system, then 21st-century agriculture will be seen as solutions, not defined as problems,” Shea said.