Check out E&E News’ Article on Climate-Smart Agriculture Featuring AFT President John Piotti
E&E News reporter Daniel Cusick’s new article, “For climate-smart farmers, carbon solution is in the soil,” explores how farmers are increasingly concerned about the challenges climate change is posing to their operations, the impact its having on their livelihoods, and what exactly they should do to respond.
An increasing number of farmers are working to implement the practice of managing farmland for its carbon capture benefits, which also increases productivity by keeping carbon locked in the soil.
Cusick interviews AFT President and CEO John Piotti who discusses AFT’s initiative Farmers Combat Climate Change which focuses on reducing on-farm emissions, sequestering carbon in farmland and ranchland soils, and preventing the loss of farmland to housing and commercial development.
Farmers and ranchers can both reduce their carbon footprint and help reverse climate change by drawing down carbon from the air and sequestering carbon in the soil with practices like cover cropping, no-till, and crop rotation. But this opportunity is at risk because of the alarming rate at which farmland is succumbing to development. Development on farmland not only shrinks the capacity of the ag sector’s primary carbon sink and adds food production pressure on remaining acres of farmland, but also replaces farmland and ranchland with more carbon-intensive uses — urban sprawl creates more carbon pollution than farming.
Conserving farmland by the acre and soil by the inch is a powerful strategy for reducing greenhouse gases and improving productivity. However, as Piotti shares in the article, in order to ensure farmers are supported and can fill their vital role in the fight against climate change there needs to be nation-wide changes in attitude, policy, and markets.