Farmers Combat Climate Change

Agriculture: Key Player in Combating Climate Change

Between regenerative farming practices and efforts to permanently protect farmland, we can significantly reduce greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere.

 

Too often we think of climate change as an abstraction, something that will happen in the far-off future. But for America’s farmers and ranchers, climate change is already a daily reality.

Extreme weather events threaten crop productivity, stress water supplies, and increase wildfire risks, while more frequent and intense storms in other areas wash away the soil and increase flooding. Climate change is already altering growing seasons and shifting the timing and impact of pest and weed pressures.

Simply put, the climate crisis threatens farmers’ ability to grow food in a productive and environmentally sustainable way.

Yet at the same time, farmers and ranchers are part of the solution. The land under their management holds great promise to combat climate change and create resilience to it.

Conserving farmland “by the acre” and soil “by the inch,” as AFT has long advocated, is a powerful strategy for reducing greenhouse gases and improving productivity. With pioneering research, innovative tools, and aggressive advocacy, AFT is helping farmers, ranchers, and landowners play a unique role in reducing the growing threat of climate change while increasing food production, improving soil health, and protecting farmland for future generations.

These actions are essential to the future of agriculture and our planet. Yet none are happening at the rate or scale needed given the enormity of the climate crisis. Despite the existence of tools that improve farm operations and farming practices, and despite impressive successes on individual farms, the agricultural sector overall has made only small gains. Even more troubling, our nation has had only minimal success preventing irreplaceable agricultural land from being developed.

AFT has a proven track record of working with conservation partners, policymakers, and farmers and ranchers to advance a wide range of environmental goals—from improving air and water quality, to reducing soil erosion, building soil health, sequestering carbon, combating sprawl and keeping working lands working.