March 29, 2021

US Farmers and Ranchers in Action published information exploring new ag innovations for climate

US Farmers and Ranchers in Action published information exploring new ag innovations for climate

US Farmers and Ranchers in Action (USFRA), an alliance connecting farmers and ranchers to food and agriculture stakeholders to create a sustainable food system, issued a new report that analyzes the state of soil health technology and identifies opportunities to find new sources of capital to increase the adoption of climate-smart agriculture on farms and ranches across the US. USFRA is supported by organizations such as the Pork Checkoff, The National Milk Producers Federation, and the US Department of Agriculture.

The Transformative Investment in Climate-Smart Agriculture Report states that by 2025, widespread adoption of climate-smart agriculture practices could reduce U.S. agriculture’s contribution to total U.S. GHG emissions by more than half, from 9.9% to 3.8%. The report focuses on six established practices 1) no-till/reduced tillage with retained residues, 2) cover crops, 3) crop rotation, 4) compost application 5) managed grazing, and 6) integrated crop and livestock systems, which improve soil health, sequester carbon and produce numerous co-benefits such as reduced erosion, increased water infiltration, and economic and environmental resiliency.

"This report shows that nearly $1 trillion of private capital flows annually through the U.S. agricultural system," said David Bennell, Manager, Food & Nature, World Business Council for Sustainable Development North America. "It provides important insights into how companies and financial institutions can realign and increase their investments to support and incentivize climate-smart agriculture practices that reward farmers and ranchers for improving soil health, enhancing water conservation and water quality, and helping build resilient and healthy rural communities.”

The Report includes 8 action steps that are necessary to leverage technology and finance innovation to accelerate and scale the adoption of climate-smart agriculture in the US.

  1. Raise investor awareness of climate-smart agriculture as a key enabling sector in the transitional net-zero economy and connect investors to specific agriculture needs and opportunities.

  2. Stimulate catalytic capital to flow into the agriculture sector through mechanisms that reflect the risk and return goals of ESG investors and climate-smart agriculture finance innovation.

  3. Encourage preferential lending programs, when possible, from existing agriculture lending institutions.

  4. Connect more sources of capital with producer ecosystems ready to transition to climate-smart agriculture to identify mutually beneficial solutions.

  5. Promote the further use of digital tools amongst farmers and ranchers to exchange best practice know-how and data (soil health, yield, profitability, etc.).

  6. Support the development of tools that collect on-farm data; connect on-farm data to larger databases and platforms to accelerate local and practice-specific knowledge and provide funders with indications of progress to reward farmers and ranchers for climate-smart efforts.

  7. Support emerging revenue enhancement mechanisms for farmers and ranchers.

  8. Demonstrate clear risk/reward profiles of successful climate-smart financial support for today’s investors and farmers and ranchers.