Summer 2021

Welcome to NACSAA News, a quarterly compilation of CSA-related developments. “Featured News” offers some of the biggest CSA-related stories of the past quarter; “NACSAA Members in Action” features the latest on our partners’ activities; “Other News We Are Reading,” is a listing of news stories from other sources we think you will find of interest; and “Partner News and Events” offers the latest partner updates. We hope this newsletter will serve to keep you, your members and other constituencies fully engaged in the growing development of climate-smart agriculture policy, programs and practices. Your feedback is welcome and appreciated. To subscribe, click here.

Featured News

Extreme Drought Plagues Much of the Western United States, Strains Ag Operations

An early season heat wave is compounding drought conditions in much of the western United States, with triple digit temperatures scorching much of a region already experiencing record numbers of dry days.

Researchers and farmers alike say the drought plaguing the western United States this year is unprecedented. Officials with the North American Drought Monitor (NADM) say that more than 70 percent of the region is dealing with the most severe drought in the monitor’s recorded history. The conditions are raising fears of unprecedented water shortages and another destructive wildfire season.

The NADM says that as of June 15, more than 26 percent of the western US is experiencing “exceptional” drought, the most intense classification of dryness, while nearly 98 percent of the West is experiencing some level of drought. With the current dry cycle that began last November, monitor officials say the area of the West now experiencing exceptional drought conditions far exceeds the previous record area set over the past two decades, just 12 percent.

 Research shows the Southwest is experiencing its worst drought in four centuries.

 A lack of precipitation and snowmelt diminished by thirsty soils have through early June resulted in more than 151 million acres of crops and more than 13 million beef cattle in nearly 1,350 counties across the region experiencing anywhere from “abnormally dry” to the blisteringly exceptional drought conditions.

 Scientists have dubbed the current event a mega-drought that is brought on by climate change. Ben Cook, a climate scientist at Columbia’s Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, shares some broadly shared opinions in the scientific community, contending climate change has pushed this period of drought as among “the worst in 500 years,”

 Nearly all of California, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and North Dakota are undergoing drought, with large areas in each of those states designated as experiencing anywhere from “severe” drought to exceptional drought.

 Nearly half of California, which is home to the world’s fifth-largest agricultural economy if the state was a sovereign nation, is designated as being in “extreme” drought, and another 26 percent deemed to be experiencing “exceptional” drought. The federal Bureau of Reclamation has slashed water allocations from the state’s massive Central Valley Project to farmers and cities by 75 percent.

 Farmers along the Rio Grande in New Mexico have been advised not to plant this year. Water levels are so low on Lake Mead, a huge reservoir on the Colorado River that is now less than 40-percent full, that officials say farmers and ranchers in Arizona, Nevada and other states will likely face reductions in irrigation supplies. Given the dry conditions and the stunted vegetation on grasslands, North Dakota ranchers are said to be transporting water and feed in for livestock.

 Conditions in the West have ratcheted up calls for federal investment in water infrastructure and climate solutions. Farmers say the investments proposed in a plan issued by President Biden are a good starting point. But they urge lawmakers not to lose sight of agriculture during the negotiations over the critical package. They say the debate playing out in Washington will have major implications for the ag sector and the security of the nation’s food supply.

Biden’s 2022 Budget Proposal for USDA Reflects Sound Approach to Climate Change

The Biden administration has offered a fiscal 2022 federal budget proposal that boosts agriculture’s role in taking on the changes in climate that have ratcheted up severe and often violent weather events experienced by farmers, ranchers and forestland owners.

Within the $6-trillion spending plan are major new climate change investments – an increase of more than $14 billion compared to fiscal 2021 – across nearly every agency, including USDA, to restore what the White House calls “the critical capacity needed to carry out their core functions and to take a whole-of-government approach to tackling climate change.”

The budget plan from the White House is a proposal to Congress indicating the president’s budgeting choices. Lawmakers, however, will have the final say in how spending will be laid out in the 2021-22 fiscal year, beginning Oct. 1.

Significant to agriculture and those who champion the role of food, feed and fiber producers in generating solutions to climate change, the Biden proposal would increase funding for climate smart agriculture, climate resilience and clean energy by nearly $1.5 billion. The funding would aim to support effective land management decisions and partnerships with local communities and Tribal Nations to address climate adaptation, conservation and ecological resilience. The USDA notes that the money would also be used to address the underlying conditions of drought that are leading to longer, hotter fire seasons.

 The budget proposes an increase of $161 million from the FY 2021 enacted level to support a multi-agency initiative that would integrate science-based tools into conservation planning. The funding would facilitate measuring, monitoring, reporting and verifying carbon sequestration, greenhouse gas reduction, wildlife stewardship, and other environmental services at the farm level and on federal lands.

 The plan would increase funding for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) by $50 million annually over 10 years, bringing an additional $500 million to target technology to increase drought resilience for agricultural producers over the decade.

 Programs such as EQIP, the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP), the Conservation Security Program (CSP), and others are important sources for technical assistance and are needed to help communities implement many important conservation measures.

 A 20-percent increase – some $647 million – would be injected into agricultural research to develop “science-based and data-driven tools” for farmers.

 Within the conservation portfolio, the president’s FY22 budget proposes a funding level of $886 million for Conservation Operations, a $50 million increase to the account that funds conservation planning and technical assistance.

 The Biden spending plan would renew the White House’s support of USDA’s Climate Hubs. The budget proposal would boost spending on the 10 regional facilities by $40 million in support of their mission to link USDA research and program agencies in their regional delivery of tools and information to agricultural producers and professionals.

Lawmakers from Both Parties Call for Investment in Ag as a Climate Solution

Thirty lawmakers from both houses of Congress have written a letter urging House and Senate leadership to support an historic, long-term investment in farmers, ranchers and rural communities as a part of upcoming infrastructure and climate change legislation.

Reps. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and Abigail Spanberger (D-NJ), and Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) led the lawmakers signing the letter. Pingree and Heinrich are the authors of the Agriculture Resilience Act, legislation they say 

empowers farmers with the tools and resources needed to improve soil health, sequester carbon, reduce emissions, enhance their resilience, and tap into new market opportunities. Spanberger and Booker are the authors of the Climate Stewardship Act, a climate change bill focused on voluntary farm and ranch conservation practices, massive reforestation and wetlands restoration.

 The lawmakers urged congressional leadership to use the two bills as a roadmap for the infrastructure package to leverage new and existing programs at the USDA to achieve net-zero emissions from U.S. agriculture in the coming decades.

 “President Biden’s American Jobs Plan seeks to position American agriculture ‘to lead the shift to net-zero emissions while providing new economic opportunities for farmers,’” the lawmakers say in their letter. “We agree that now is the moment to be ambitious on this front. “Specifically, we request that this infrastructure and climate package include $200 billion over the next decade for new and existing [USDA] conservation, research, renewable energy, tree planting and food systems initiatives, in addition to robust funding for rural development programs including investments in USDA rural water, broadband, business and electric programs.

 “Beyond simply investing in these areas,” the letter continued, “this package should also specifically target resources to maximize the impact of USDA programs on climate change adaptation and mitigation.”

 The lawmakers say the two legislative proposals offer “climate-focused policy changes to existing USDA programs, as well as new initiatives to meet climate and rural infrastructure needs that are not currently addressed by existing programs…Many of these specific policies were also endorsed in recommendations made last year by the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis and the Senate Democrats’ Special Committee on the Climate Crisis.

 “American farmers, ranchers, and foresters are ready to lead the shift to net-zero emissions, but they need Congress to provide them with the necessary knowledge, tools, and resources to do so,” the letter continues.” Upcoming legislation focused on infrastructure and climate change is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Congress to provide this critical support, which would also improve the quality of the water we drink and the air we breathe, increase farmers’ bottom lines, and make farms and rural communities more resilient to the impacts of climate change.”

Bipartisan Senate Bill Would Expand Renewable Fuel Infrastructure

The Renewable Fuel Infrastructure Investment and Market Expansion Act of 2021, a bipartisan measure introduced in the Senate April 22,would direct the USDA to establish a grant program to support the deployment of renewable fuel infrastructure.

The bill would also require the EPA to finalize the agency’s proposed rule that would remove certain barriers to expanded sales of E15, including E15 fuel dispenser labeling and compatibility with underground storage tanks, no later than 90 days after the legislation is enacted.

“As we look ahead to address infrastructure, I want to ensure Iowa’s farmers and producers aren’t left out of the discussion. That’s why I’m proud to cosponsor this legislation with my colleagues from the Midwest who know a thing or two about the importance of energy independence,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), a co-sponsor of the bill. “I look forward to working with my colleagues to address gaps in infrastructure in the coming weeks. And I’ll continue advocating for the renewable fuels industry as they fuel the world and create jobs in communities across the country.”

The measure would authorize the USDA Renewable Fuel Infrastructure Grant Program to help accelerate the deployment of renewable fuel infrastructure. Under the program, eligible entities may use the funds to:

  • Distribute to private or public entities for costs related to incentivizing deployment of renewable fuel infrastructure
  • Convert existing pump infrastructure to deliver ethanol blends greater than 10 percent and biodiesel blends greater than 20 percent
  • Install fuel pumps and related infrastructure dedicated to the distribution of higher ethanol blends, including E15 and E85 and higher biodiesel blends up to B100 at fueling locations

EPA Renews Climate Awareness, Relaunches Indicators Website

EPA has released its Climate Change Indicators in the United States, a resource designed to present the compelling and clear evidence of changes to our climate reflected in record-high temperatures, snow and rainfall patterns shifting, river flooding, droughts, heat waves and wildfires, among other factors.

The agency, which says it is restoring the role of science in addressing the climate crisis, reports that many of the observed changes listed in the 

indicators are linked to the rising levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, attributable to human activities.

EPA partnered with more than 50 data contributors from various government agencies, academic institutions, and other organizations to compile the key set of indicators related to the causes and effects of climate change.

The indicators, each of which were peer-reviewed by experts, also provide important input to the National Climate Assessment (NCA), a quadrennial report mandated by Congress in 1990 directing 13 federal agencies and departments, including the USDA, the EPA and the Departments of Interior and Energy, to conduct or use research on global change and its impacts on society.

While the next national assessment is due in 2023, the fourth NCA issued in 2019 warned that major U.S. crop yields are expected to decline because of increases in temperatures and possible changes in water availability, increased soil erosion, and more disease and pest outbreaks. The climate change indicators released last week tend to support some of the dire predictions laid out in that assessment two years ago, predicting reduced food and forage production, an increase in wildfire intensity, accelerated depletion of water supplies for irrigation, and an expansion of the distribution and incidence of pests and diseases among crops and livestock.

Some specific findings laid out by the indicators include the fact that 2016 was the warmest year on record, 2020 was the second warmest, and 2010-2020 was the warmest decade on record since 1880, when thermometer-based observations began. Also heat waves are occurring more often across the United States, their frequency having increased steadily. The contiguous 48 states have gone from averaging of two heat waves per year during the 1960s to six per year during the 2010s.

Indicators also showed that the average length of the growing season in the contiguous 48 states has increased by more than two weeks since the beginning of the 20th century. The report’s authors say changes in the length of the growing season can have both positive and negative effects on the yield and prices of particular crops. Overall, warming is expected to have negative effects on yields of major crops, but crops in some individual locations may benefit.

A longer growing season could allow farmers to diversify crops or have multiple harvests from the same plot. However, it could also limit the types of crops grown, encourage invasive species or weed growth, or increase demand for irrigation. A longer growing season could also disrupt the function and structure of a region’s ecosystems and could, for example, alter the range and types of animal species in the area.

The EPA says more content will be posted on the site as it pursues its mission of protecting human health and the environment by tracking and reporting greenhouse gas emissions, leveraging sound science, and working to reduce emissions to combat climate change.

DOE Lab Reaffirms Ethanol’s Role in Reducing Carbon Footprint, GHGs

A study conducted by researchers at the DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory reaffirms the long-acknowledged role of corn ethanol in diminishing greenhouse gases (GHGs) and reducing the nation’s carbon footprint.

NACSAA promotes the use of biofuels for their role in reducing GHGs, one of the three pillars of Climate Smart Agriculture

The study, recently published in Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining, analyzes corn ethanol production in the United States from 2005 to 2019, when production more than quadrupled. Scientists assessed corn ethanol’s GHG emission intensity (sometimes known as carbon intensity, or CI) during that period and found a 23-percent reduction in CI.

According to Argonne scientists, corn ethanol production increased over the period, from 1.6 to 15 billion gallons (6.1 to 57 billion liters). Supportive biofuel policies – such as the federal Renewable Fuel Standard and California’s Low-Carbon Fuel Standard – helped generate the increase. Both of those federal and state programs evaluate the life-cycle GHG emissions of fuel production pathways to calculate the benefits of using renewable fuels.

To assess emissions, scientists use a process called life-cycle analysis, or LCA – the standard method for comparing relative GHG emission impacts among different fuel production pathways.

“Since the late 1990s, LCA studies have demonstrated the GHG emission reduction benefits of corn ethanol as a gasoline alternative,” said Argonne senior scientist Michael Wang, who leads the Systems Assessment Center in the laboratory’s Energy Systems division and is one of the study’s principal investigators. “This new study shows the continuous downtrend of corn ethanol GHG emissions.”

“The corn ethanol production pathway — both in terms of corn farming and biorefineries — has evolved greatly since 2005,” said Argonne analyst Uisung Lee, first author of the study. Lee pointed out that the study relied on comprehensive statistics of corn farming from the USDA and of corn ethanol production from industry benchmark data.

Hoyoung Kwon, a coauthor, stated that U.S. corn grain yields improved by 15 percent, reaching 168 bushels per acre, despite fertilizer inputs remaining constant, resulting in a decreased intensity in fertilizer input per bushel of corn harvested: reductions of 7 percent in nitrogen use and 18 percent in potash use.

May Wu, another co-author, added that ethanol yields increased 6.5 percent, with a 24-percent reduction in ethanol plant energy use.

“With the increased total volume and the reduced CI values of corn ethanol between 2005 and 2019, corn ethanol has resulted in a total GHG reduction of more than 500 million tons between 2005 and 2019,” Wang emphasized. “For the United States, biofuels like corn ethanol can play a critical role in reducing our carbon footprint.”

The Argonne team used Argonne’s GREET® model for the study. Argonne developed GREET (the Greenhouse gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy use in Technologies) model, a one-of-a-kind LCA analytical tool that simulates the energy use and emissions output of various vehicle and fuel combinations. Government, industry and other researchers worldwide use GREET for LCA modeling of corn ethanol and other biofuels.

New Combustion Strategies Plus Biofuels: Cleaner, More Efficient Cars and Trucks

A report released last month highlights the most significant breakthroughs of the last year in the DOE’s Co-Optimization of Fuels & Engines (Co-Optima) initiative, with details on findings that could translate into significant greenhouse gas (GHG) and tailpipe emissions reductions.

Researchers from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and eight other national laboratories are collaborating to examine how simultaneous improvements to vehicle fuels and engines can boost energy efficiency and the use of renewable fuels, while cutting emissions.

Much of the Co-Optima research focuses on components known as blendstocks, which can be produced from a wide spectrum of domestic resources, including renewable biomass – such as forestry, agricultural, and food waste – and combined with petroleum-based fuels.

Co-Optima researchers say they have made significant progress in understanding blendstocks’ impacts on vehicle efficiency and emissions. Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) research concentrated on multimode combustion strategies for light-duty (LD) vehicles and mixing-controlled compression ignition (MCCI) and advanced compression ignition (ACI) strategies for medium-duty (MD) and heavy-duty (HD) vehicles.

“When we combine these new blendstocks with petroleum-based fuels in advanced engines, we’re seeing substantial cuts in polluting emissions,” said Robert McCormick, NREL Senior Research Fellow, Advanced Fuels and Combustion Platform Leader, and Co-Optima Leadership Team Member. “We’re talking about blendstocks that reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 60 percent compared to the petroleum fuel they displace. They also reduce tailpipe soot emissions from both cars and commercial trucks—which ultimately means cleaner air and a healthier planet.”

The diesel-fueled MCCI engines typically found in commercial freight trucks deliver strong power and fuel economy, but require costly and complex control systems to meet emission regulations. FY20 Co-Optima research revealed potential for many candidate MCCI blendstocks to reduce MD and HD criteria pollutant emissions and cut life cycle GHG emissions by more than 60 percent compared to conventional petroleum-derived diesel, while meeting commercial vehicle production and operational cost requirements.

NREL said other findings from the research include:

  • Using enhanced modeling capabilities to simulate deployment of Class 8 freight trucks using a 10-percent biofuel blend, revealing potential for a 7.5 percent decrease in cumulative GHG emissions between 2025 and 2050 (with greater emissions reductions at higher biofuel blend levels)
  • Identifying a unique molecular structure, catalyst and biomass conversion strategy to produce a potentially high-performance, low-carbon, cost-effective bio-blendstock for use in diesel engines
  • Applying advanced computational methods to discover optimal compression-ignition engine control strategies capable of reducing emissions threefold without a significant drop-off in power
  • Quantifying how low-net-carbon biofuel blendstocks can deliver high engine efficiency, with fewer harmful tailpipe emissions and lower life cycle GHG emissions than standard diesel fuel
  • Showing how chemical structure affects the sooting tendency of biofuels produced from agricultural and forestry waste to aid the design of cleaner new high-performance blendstocks.

Climate Change Threatens One-Third of Global Food Production

New estimates show that if greenhouse gases continue growing at current rates, large regions will be at risk of being pushed into climate conditions in which no food is grown.

Climate change is known to negatively affect agriculture and livestock, but there has been little scientific knowledge on which regions of the planet would be touched or what the biggest risks may be.

New research led by Finland’s Aalto University assesses just how global food production will be affected if greenhouse gas emissions are left uncut. The study was published in the journal One Earth last month.

“Our research shows that rapid, out-of-control growth of greenhouse gas emissions may, by the end of the century, lead to more than a third of current global food production falling into conditions in which no food can be produced, said Matti Kummu, professor of global water and food issues at Aalto.

According to the study, this scenario is likely to occur if carbon dioxide emissions continue growing at current rates. In the study, the researchers define the concept of safe climatic space as those areas where 95 percent of crop production currently takes place, thanks to a combination of three climate factors, rainfall, temperature and aridity.

“The good news is that only a fraction of food production would face as-of-yet unseen conditions if we collectively reduce emissions, so that warming would be limited to 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius,” says Kummu.

Changes in rainfall and aridity as well as the warming climate are especially threatening to food production in South and Southeast Asia, and the Sahel region of Africa. These are also areas that lack the capacity to adapt to changing conditions.

“Food production as we know it developed under a fairly stable climate, during a period of slow warming that followed the last ice age,” said researcher Matias Heino, the other main author of the publication. The continuous growth of greenhouse gas emissions may create new conditions, and food crop and livestock production just won’t have enough time to adapt.”

Two future scenarios for climate change were used in the study: one in which carbon dioxide emissions are cut radically, limiting global warming to 1.5-2 degrees Celsius, and another in which emissions continue growing unhalted.

The researchers assessed how climate change would affect 27 of the most important food crops and seven different livestock, accounting for societies’ varying capacities to adapt to changes. The results show that threats affect countries and continents in different ways: in 52 of the 177 countries studied, the entire food production would remain in the safe climatic space in the future.

Already vulnerable countries such as Benin, Cambodia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana and Suriname will be hit hard if no changes are made, resulting in 95 percent of those countries current food production falling outside of safe climatic space.

Some 20 percent of the world’s crop production and 18 percent of livestock production under threat are located in countries with low resilience to adapt to changes, the researchers say.

“If we let emissions grow, the increase in desert areas is especially troubling because in these conditions barely anything can grow without irrigation,” Kummu added. “By the end of this century, we could see more than 4 million square kilometres of new desert around the globe.”

While the study is the first to take a holistic look at the climatic conditions where food is grown today and how climate change will affect these areas in coming decades, its take-home message is by no means unique: the world needs urgent action.

NACSAA Members in Action

O’Toole Represents SfL at Global Climate Workshop

SfL board member Pat O’Toole, a Wyoming cattle and sheep rancher and hay grower, represented the farmers constituency at a workshop staged this week (June 15) by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

O’Toole, the long-term president of the Family Farm Alliance with a strong background in irrigated agriculture, was the sole producer presenter offering farmer/rancher insight and recommendations in the 

special workshop on “sustainable land and water management, including integrated watershed management strategies, to ensure food security.”

The workshop, which was an “intercessional” meeting being held ahead of the next round of global climate talks (COP 26) this November in Glasgow, UK, is a function of the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture (KJWA), a landmark agreement reached among global climate negotiators in November, 2017. The KJWA recognizes the unique potential of agriculture in tackling climate change and addresses six interrelated topics on soils, nutrient use, water, livestock, methods for assessing adaptation, and the socio-economic and food security dimensions of climate change across the agricultural sectors.

“It was an honor to represent the people who feed our world,” O’Toole said of his role in the upcoming workshop. “We are the logical problem-solvers whose ideas and actions will move us into a sustainable future.”

For additional information, contact O’Toole at 970-376-6311, or h2otoole@gmail.com, or SfL President Ernie Shea at 410-952-0123, or EShea@solutionsfromtheland.org.

In related news, in preparation for global talks in Glasgow, the Koronivia Roadmap called for submissions from parties and observers on future topics and views on the progress of the KJWA. A submission from SfL/NACSAA was one of the first four to be introduced.

Meanwhile, the UN secretariat has incorporated many of SfL/NACSAA recommendations submitted on the two workshops held during the UN Climate Change Dialogues 2020. The recommendations can be found at workshop reports on:

Further information, such as links to workshop webpages, full recordings of the two previous workshops and earlier workshop reports, are available at the Koronivia website.

SfL Offers Vision for an ‘Agricultural Renaissance’ in the 21st Century

Solutions from the Land (SFL) farmers, ranchers and forestry leaders and their partners have issued a White Paper that lays out a vision for an agricultural renaissance in this, the 21st, century and offers a model for constructing sustainable and resilient systems across working landscapes to counter growing challenges to global food security.

The paper details the vision’s implementation, which is characterized by broad initiatives that reject the siloed management approaches of the past and foster multi-stakeholder collaborations that utilize integrated approaches to agriculture, forestry and food system challenges.

The White Paper was released by SfL Co-Chair A.G. Kawamura, a California specialty crop grower and shipper, during the first of a series of “dialogues” for agricultural producers and their value chain partners staged by SfL and the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC).

The White Paper notes that the 21st century is now fully under way, amid weather-related crop failures; locust plagues; wildfires and deforestation; regional conflicts; loss of biodiversity; erosion of ecosystem health and functionality; a changing climate; and the spillover of 2020’s global pandemic into 2021.

“Our 20th century agricultural production and conservation systems are increasingly under stress and are proving to be inadequate to manage the risks and uncertainties of 21st century production,” said Kawamura. “Our White Paper promotes services that better boost not only food security, but energy, healthy ecosystems and livelihoods as well.”

The SfL paper sets out a vision and pathways for defining agriculture through the lens of a broader reality of living as opposed to simply surviving. It promotes the resilience needed to maintain abundance in the years to come.
“Today’s agriculture must address hunger, livelihoods, water scarcity, clean water, healthy soil, ecosystem resilience, climate change, greenhouse gases and a whole range of local and global realities. ” said SfL Co-Chair Fred Yoder, an Ohio corn, soybean and wheat producer; and a past president, of the National Corn Growers Association.

The White Paper offers a lengthy list of technologies and innovations that address the proliferating and varied challenges farmers, ranchers and foresters are facing. Smartphones, computing technologies, geographic information systems (GIS), global positioning systems (GPS), remote sensing, models, robotics, drones, and on-demand local climate projections are being applied to support precision agriculture, agricultural ecosystem and biodiversity management, and easier, more effective ways for farmers and others in farming landscapes to communicate and collaborate.

Advanced science is uncovering processes in microbiology, plant biology, agroecology and landscape ecology – at field, farm and landscape scales – that can be harnessed to develop nature-positive production systems. Inventions such as robotics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, CRISPR, nano-technologies, genetic and biological engineering, sound wave pulverization and data-rich modeling are rapidly moving beyond conceptualization to experimental trials and mainstream uses.

“Yet despite these advances,” the White Paper warns, “without the full engagement of farmers, foresters and their partners, our capacity to transform the systems of agriculture for the future will be compromised. The development of a more dynamic and robust toolbox is essential, but will be insufficient without the voice, experience, and understanding that the stewards of the land provide as they move beyond timely projections to address changes and threats in real time.

“Those on the front line must have support and resources to strike new ground in managing their lands and shaping their working landscapes,” the SfL White Paper asserts.

A vision for working landscapes of the future offered by the paper brings production, environmental, food, and nutrition policies into harmony and streamlines regulations that are too often overlapping and contradictory. It is a model that engages with farmers to sharpen a shared focus on outcomes, not prescriptive mandates that tell farmers how to farm.

The vision calls for strategies anchored by the three overlapping climate smart agriculture (CSA) pillars: 1) sustainable intensification of production, 2) adaptive management and 3) greenhouse gas reduction. The paper notes that a CSA approach does not prioritize any one of the pillars and represents the simultaneous co-benefits that accrue from their pursuit. Subsequently, a “many pathways” approach to managing working lands recognizes the tremendous diversity of agricultural landscapes and ecosystems, and enables producers to utilize the systems and practices that best support their own unique situations and circumstances.

The overarching objective of the vision for 21st century agricultural and forestry production systems offered by the SfL White Paper is the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 17 objectives set by UN members in 2015 to be attained by 2030 that call for the elimination of hunger, the restoration of clean water resources, the development of clean energy and the mitigation of a changing climate among others.
Included in the paper are “stories from the land” that document the work being undertaken on many farming, ranching and forestry operations that offer systems and practices that offer “win-win” scenarios that present solutions for global challenges while improving environmental resilience, building strong rural communities, engaging consumers, and enhancing public health through access to nutritious food.

NACSAA Members Among Broad Coalition Calling on Congress to Address Record-Breaking Drought in West

The severe drought conditions in the Western United States have prompted a coalition of more than 220 organizations – including NACSAA members American Farm Bureau Federation, Solutions from the Land and others among them – collectively representing thousands of farmers, ranchers, water providers, businesses  and communities throughout the region to write to key members of the

Senate Energy and Natural Resource Committee seeking help. The call for aid aligns with President Biden’s recent endorsement of nature-based solutions that enhance resilience of land and water resources to protect communities and the environment as outlined in the American Jobs Plan.

Offering a substantial list of Western water needs, the letter to Congress from the massive coalition of family farmers, ranchers, irrigation districts and allied industries in 17 Western states warns that changing hydrological conditions and an expanding population in the region raise serious concerns about the future viability of the nation’s  water infrastructure.

“To keep water flowing to farms, ranches, cities and the environment,” the coalition said, “substantial federal investment is needed to bolster deteriorating storage and conveyance facilities and build new ones.”

The coalition identified more than $13 billion in Bureau of Reclamation water infrastructure needs over the next 10 years, including storage and conveyance, dam safety, rural water, water- smart technologies, and water recycling and reuse projects; $34 billion for USDA to undertake forest restoration, watershed protection and flood prevention projects; and $1.75 billion for Army Corps of Engineers water storage projects and environmental infrastructure.

More than 450 Groups Urge Congress to Invest $200 Billion In Climate-Focused Ag Improvements in the American Jobs Plan

A letter from more than 450 farm and rural development organizations and businesses across the country – including NACSAA partners, the American Farmland Trust and the Soil and Water Conservation Society – has been sent to congressional leadership calling for the investment of more than $200 billion over ten years to bolster farm bill conservation, research, renewable energy, forestry, and regional food system and supply chain resilience programs.

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) said the groups signing off on the letter go beyond the agriculture, forestry and rural-related elements already contained in President Biden’s American Jobs Plan.

“We know that the time for transformative investments to help farmers address the climate crisis is now,” said Eric Deeble, NSAC Policy Director. “This funding request for $200 billion is a down payment on programs that farmers need now to build more resilient food systems.”

Specifically, the letter underscores how an investment of $200 billion, anchored by principles and programs found in the bicameral Agriculture Resilience Act (H.R. 2803/S. 1337) and Climate Stewardship Act (H.R 2534/S. 1072), can address climate change and infrastructure needs by, among other actions:

  • helping farmers and ranchers adopt mitigation practices
  • investing in more resilient local and regional supply chains
  • expanding renewable energy on farms
  • advancing research on climate and agriculture, and much more.

The letter emphasizes strong support for inclusion of key funding elements from those bills in the agriculture portion of the American Jobs Plan Act (AJPA) legislation.

An agriculture and climate package of at least $200 billion represents a fair share for agriculture, reflecting both the urgent need for U.S. agriculture to adapt to a rapidly changing climate as well as the tremendous opportunity that farmers, ranchers, forest owners, and rural small businesses have to contribute to climate change mitigation, the letter says.

The amount would strengthen farm bill conservation program funding and address other key underfunded areas needed to enhance agricultural resilience, improve soil health, sequester carbon in the soil, and reduce emissions from the agricultural sector, the groups say.

Such investments could mean programs that help farmers adopt climate-friendly practices and are currently over-subscribed, like the USDA’s Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and Environmental Quality Improvement Program (EQIP), will be able to enroll more producers right away – a key down payment toward climate change mitigation and resilience and expanded program access, supporters say.

“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity that should result in new investments in resilient food and farming systems and transform how we tackle the climate crisis,” Deeble added. “Making these investments now is key to achieving carbon neutral agriculture, building increased resilience, improving rural economies, and increasing job and farming opportunities.”

In addition to significant investments in farm bill conservation, renewable energy, energy efficiency, forestry, and food system and supply chain resilience programs, sponsors say the investment would advance research that furthers the understanding of soil carbon sequestration and furthers the collective understanding of region-specific best practices for climate mitigation. The effort, supporters add, will help farmers and ranchers adapt to the various impacts of climate change across the country. 

NSAC says the broad array of more than 450 co-signed businesses and organizations include those focused on agriculture, food systems, conservation, and more, working at the grassroots and national levels.

Florida’s Strickland Uses Op-eds To Underscore Role of Ranches in Taking on Climate Change

An op-ed written by Jim Strickland, a co-chair of the Florida Climate Smart Agriculture Work Group (FLCSA), was recently published in the Tampa Bay Times, underscoring the role that ranches play in protecting water and wildlife, and addressing climate change impacts.

Strickland speaks from experience. He is the owner of Strickland Ranch and managing partner of Big Red Cattle Company and Blackbeard’s Ranch.

In addition to his duties helping lead the FLCSA work group, which is sponsored by the University of Florida and Solutions from the Land, he is vice chairman of the Florida Conservation Group, an organization that advocates for the protection of Florida’s ranchlands.

He points out that Florida’s agricultural sector contributes more than $120 billion to the state’s economic revenue, and that the state’s 47,000 commercial farms and ranches feed people across the country and provide jobs to thousands of Floridians.

However, he writes, “To maintain our livelihoods in the face of a changing climate, we have to be nimble, finding ways to adapt to climate impacts and work more sustainably. Without action, we’ve got a lot to lose. Storms threaten crop yields; changing rainfall patterns can dry up our lands or flood our fields; higher temperatures can require more irrigation.”

Strickland notes that many Florida ranchers are working with partners, such as non-governmental conservation organizations, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, state and federal governments and others, “to make ranching more ecologically sustainable and sequester carbon in both wetland soils and grasslands.”

To providing these often costly “ecosystem services,” he says farmers, ranchers and foresters need incentives, and cited legislation pending in Congress – the Growing Climate Solutions Act. The legislation would establish a USDA technical assistance and certification program to assist producers and forest owners seeking to participate in voluntary carbon markets.

By monetize the ecosystem services farm and forest lands provide, the measure would create a program that would assist landowners in implementing sustainable practices, like planting cover crops, prescribed grazing, and reforestation, that reduce air pollution and sequester carbon.

“For too long,” Strickland writes, “ranching has been pigeonholed as a barrier to a clean and sustainable environment. Ranchers want to provide climate solutions and make our state more resilient. And we can.”

Strickland wrote a similarly themed op-ed in March that appeared on “The Invading Sea” web site, a collaboration of 26 Florida news organizations that features editorials from newspaper partners and opinion pieces by scientists, academics, activists and citizens interested in Florida and the threats posed by climate change.

He wrote that Florida ranches are part of the solution to protect Florida’s environment, noting that ranchers engage in conservation practices that maintain grasslands, healthy soils and healthy watersheds.

“These practices also have a role in combating the effects of climate change,” Strickland said. “Rotational grazing, maintaining appropriate cattle herd sizes and managing for native habitat reduce greenhouse gas emissions and sequester carbon. Cattle ranching in Florida protects the environment, maintains rural landscapes, and supports the Florida agricultural economy.”

Innovative Nutrient Stewardship Program Boosts Productivity for Farmers in Ghana, Ethiopia

Solutions from the Land and a diverse group of collaborating partners have released a new case study and video highlighting an innovative project designed to provide some 80,000 smallholder farmers in Ghana and Ethiopia with the knowledge and skills to best use fertilizers and other nutrients to optimize crop growth on traditionally low-productive and soil-degraded acreage.

The project, launched two years ago by Fertilizer Canada, focuses not just on improving the productivity of key food crops in the targeted countries, but on improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers – about half of them women – and on creating strategies for environmental resilience and gender equity.

The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Project promotes the “right source, right rate, right time and right place” for nutrient applications – an approach that emphasizes climate-smart agriculture and serves to guide farmers to the management practices that help keep nutrients on and in the field. In addition to improving crop productivity, the project also aims to boost farm income.

The project also strives to help farmers achieve nine of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, including those focused on social and economic issues and gender equality.

Field activities began in 2020 with multiple 4R demonstration sites where farmers and local extension volunteers gain practical knowledge. Farmers are beginning climate-smart 4R practices on their own farms this year. An expansion of the project to Senegal is expected to begin in 2022 with demonstration plots and training.

The broad scope of the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Project emphasizes that the challenges of agriculture cannot be solved only with inputs from the industry that Fertilizer Canada represents, the trade group says in a project overview laid out in the report.

“The fertilizers, along with other locally available nutrient sources used according to 4R principles, are a component of the effort to equip farmers with the skills and knowledge to use the expansive, climate-smart, best-management practices that can spark a global agricultural renaissance,” the trade group says. “The comprehensive, holistic model also seeks to reduce post-harvest food waste, improve agricultural extension outreach, lead to stable markets and supply chains, improve profitability for farmers and their communities, and promote greater gender equity.”

The release of the project report and video, written and filmed by Solutions from the Land, coincides with a special session of the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS 48), which today endorsed a new set of policy recommendations on “Agroecological and other Innovative Approaches for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems that Enhance Food Security and Nutrition.”

SfL participated in the development of the guidelines as a member of the Private Sector Mechanism negotiating team and welcomes their adoption by CFS. These approaches include but are not limited to agroecology, climate smart agriculture, precision agriculture and improved nutrient use efficiency that uses a variety of strategies and tools such as digitalization and improved seeds to support the adaptive capacity of agriculture. SfL supports continued work and research that develop options that respect the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable agriculture is important

USDA Releases 90-Day Progress Report on Climate-Smart Agriculture and Forestry

The USDA published May 20 the 90-Day Progress Report on Climate-Smart Agriculture and Forestry, a document that department officials say represents an important step in President Biden’s Executive Order on tackling the climate crisis at home and abroad, and shift towards a whole-of-department approach to climate solutions.

The order, signed in January, states that, “America’s farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners have an important role to play in combating the climate crisis and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, by sequestering carbon in soils, grasses, trees, and other vegetation and sourcing sustainable bioproducts and fuels.”

“With the right tools and partnerships, American agriculture and forestry can lead the world in solutions that will increase climate resilience, sequester carbon, enhance agricultural productivity, and maintain

critical environmental benefits,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “At this pivotal time, President Biden has called upon USDA to develop a strategy for climate smart agriculture and forestry as part of a whole-of-government effort to addressing the climate crisis. Central to USDA’s approach is the concept that to be effective, whatever we do must work for farmers, ranchers, and landowners.”

USDA is part of a whole-of-government effort to combat the climate crisis and conserve and protect the nation’s lands, biodiversity, and natural resources, including soil, air and water. Through research, conservation practices and partnerships, USDA official say they aim to find solutions to agricultural challenges, enhance economic growth and create new streams of income for farmers, ranchers, producers and private foresters. Successfully meeting these challenges, officials add, will require USDA and its agencies to pursue a coordinated approach alongside stakeholders, including state, local and tribal governments.

USDA officials say they are committed to giving America’s food system a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices. The effort, they add, includes making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America.

On another front, USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) will invest at least $21.7 million in several key programs to help agricultural producers manage the impacts of climate change on their lands and production, officials say.

NIFA awarded $6.3 million for 14 Soil Health grants and $5.4 million for seven Signals in the Soil grants through its Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI). NIFA officials say they are also investing at least $10 million in a new AFRI program area priority – “Extension, Education, and USDA Climate Hub Partnerships” – to train the next generation of farmers, ranchers and foresters to incorporate climate change research into their management practices.

The projects funded will strengthen and broaden the impacts of USDA’s Climate Hubs through the Cooperative Extension Service. The partnerships between Cooperative Extension and the Climate Hubs Program that are built through this investment will help to ensure producers have information needed to plan for changing climate conditions and to consider climate-friendly farming practices.

USDA’s Climate Hubs are a unique collaboration across the Department’s agencies. They are led by Agricultural Research Service and Forest Service directors located at 10 regional locations, with contributions from other USDA agencies including the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, and the Risk Management Agency. The Climate Hubs link USDA research and program agencies in their region with the delivery of timely and authoritative tools and information to agricultural producers and professionals.

Ag Department Launches Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate

The USDA is leading the U.S. launch of the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM for Climate), an initiative proposed last month by the United States and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that aims to is to increase and accelerate global innovation research and development (R&D) on agriculture and food systems in support of climate action.

The plan is endorsed by the United Kingdom’s presidency of the next global climate talks (COP 26) to be held this fall in Glasgow, Scotland.

It is also supported by Australia, Brazil, Denmark, Israel, Singapore and Uruguay. The goal of AIM for Climate AIM for Climate will be advanced at the UN Food Systems Summit in September and launched at COP26 in November.

“I am pleased to see the United States co-leading the creation of the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate initiative,” ,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. “The goal of the initiative is important – to accelerate global agricultural innovation through increased research and development – as it highlights agriculture, science-based solutions to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Together we can address our shared climate challenges.”

By COP26, AIM for Climate will:

  • Demonstrate collective commitment to investment in agricultural innovation and R&D for climate-smart food systems by its participants over the next five years.
  • Outline a framework to discuss and promote priorities across international and national levels of innovation, to amplify participants’ investments.
  • Identify chief scientists as key focal points for international cooperation on climate-related agricultural R&D, drawing on their unique insights and equities across governmental bodies.

AIM for Climate will focus on, and promote coordination between, three main investment channels:

  • Scientific breakthroughs via basic agricultural research through national-level government agricultural R&D and academic research institutions.
  • Public and private applied innovation and R&D for development through support to international research centers, institutions, and laboratory networks.
  • Development and deployment of practical, actionable research and information to producers and other market participants, utilizing national agricultural research extension systems.

Officials say the innovation and R&D areas targeted through AIM for Climate will include sustainable productivity improvements, land, water, carbon, and other input use efficiency, resilient crop, and livestock production, enhanced digital tools, and inclusive, equitable and sustainable food systems.

Other News We Are Reading

There is broad and deep support in both developing and industrialized countries for governments to take further actions to address climate change, per new polling data from Facebook Data for Good and the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication. Advocates say that without public support pushing policymakers to take potentially costly steps to curtail greenhouse gas emissions, efforts to rein in climate change will be doomed to fail. The poll released April 20 found that countries in Central and South America, such as Brazil, had the highest public support for stronger national and international climate action to be taken. Pollsters say the finding may reflect the region’s vulnerability to extreme weather events such as hurricanes, droughts and floods. In the United States, a solid majority – about 65 percent – of respondents said their government should be doing “more” or “much more” to address climate change. (Read more…)

The effects on agriculture of more frequent and intense natural disasters could overwhelm lenders, destabilize the food supply and disrupt the global economy. The billions of dollars in damage caused by the extreme weather could soon rattle or overwhelm the banks and lenders that provide critical cash flow to farmers. And that, in turn, would almost certainly destabilize not only the food supply but the financial systems that underpin the broader global economy, financial analysts say. (Read more…)

Improved agricultural practices and widespread irrigation may stave off another agricultural calamity in the Great Plains. But scientists are now warning that two inescapable realities — rising temperatures and worsening drought — could still spawn a modern-day Dust Bowl. Growing up in rural Iowa in the 1990s, Isaac Larsen remembers a unique herald of springtime. The snowbanks piled along roads, once white or gray, would turn black. The culprit was windblown dust, stirred from barren farm fields into the air. Even as some of the region’s farmers have adopted more sustainable practices, the dust still flies. Larsen, a 42-year-old geoscientist at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, recently published a paper on soil loss in the U.S. Corn Belt. Since farming began, Larsen and his coauthors estimate that more than one-third of the Corn Belt – nearly 30 million acres – has lost all of its nutrient- and carbon-rich topsoil. Similar processes also are taking place on the neighboring Great Plains, a sprawling region that includes Kansas, Nebraska, and the Dakotas, as well as parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Montana, and Colorado. (Read more…)

A team of researchers at Ludwig-Maximilian University (LMU) in Germany has now used “artificial laboratory evolution” to identify mutations that enable unicellular cyanobacteria to tolerate high levels of light. The long-term aim of the project, which is now published in the journal Nature Plants, is to find ways of endowing crop plants with the ability to cope with the effects of climate change. Sunlight, air and water are all that cyanobacteria (more commonly known as blue-green algae), true algae and plants need for the production of organic (i.e., carbon-based) compounds and molecular oxygen by means of photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the major source of building blocks for organisms on Earth. However, too much sunlight reduces the efficiency of photosynthesis because it damages the ‘solar panels’, i.e., the photosynthetic machineries of cyanobacteria, algae and plants. The cyanobacteria used in the study were derived from a strain of cells that were used to grow at low levels of light. “To enable them to emerge from the shadows, so to speak, we exposed these cells to successively higher light intensities,” says LMU’s Dario Leister. (Read more…)

Western ranchers are restoring diverse, grassland ecosystem practices that can improve the land’s capacity to hold water – and help them hold onto more cattle. It’s calving season and all across the West ranchers are watching the sizes of their herds grow. It’s also the beginning of a new season on most ranches, but in the midst of a historic, persistent drought, a growing herd brings difficult questions. As average temperatures climb and the water that flows through many of the major rivers and creeks across the west is slowing, the availability of forage—grass, legumes, and other edible pasture plants—has become less predictable. As a result, many ranchers face complex calculations: Do they sell off some of their cattle and cut a profit, but risk flooding the market and getting a low price? Or do they hold onto their herd and buy extra hay and forage, rent additional pasture, or risk overgrazing—and further drying out—the land? There aren’t easy answers to this question, especially as climate change accelerates and the western United States enters its 22nd year of drought, long enough to be categorized as a mega-drought.  (Read more…)

Rural electric cooperatives have been relatively slow to move away from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, but they are catching up. They have embraced wind for some time; now a March report from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association shows solar is projected to be part of the mix next year at more than half of the co-ops that generate electricity for customer-member cooperatives. The solar share is less at those distribution co-ops. One example of a generating co-op that is gradually embracing solar is Old Dominion Electric Cooperative in central Virginia, written up by Elizabeth McGowan of Energy News Network. Old Dominion “has 30 megawatts of operating solar, another 135 MW on the way soon, and a pending proposal to add up to another 400 MW in the next four years. That could add up to a tenfold leap, or beyond, by 2025,” McGowan reports. Nationally, co-ops had 1,349 MW of solar in their retail fuel mix, NRECA’s Dan Riedinger told The Rural Blog. The Virginia co-op is a national leader in use of renewable energy. “Earlier this year, it became the second generation and transmission co-op nationwide to set a goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Since 2005, the co-op has almost halved emissions of heat-trapping gases.” (Read more…)

Rural electric cooperatives have been relatively slow to move away from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, but they are catching up. They have embraced wind for some time; now a March report from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association shows solar is projected to be part of the mix next year at more than half of the co-ops that generate electricity for customer-member cooperatives. The solar share is less at those distribution co-ops. One example of a generating co-op that is gradually embracing solar is Old Dominion Electric Cooperative in central Virginia, written up by Elizabeth McGowan of Energy News Network. Old Dominion “has 30 megawatts of operating solar, another 135 MW on the way soon, and a pending proposal to add up to another 400 MW in the next four years. That could add up to a tenfold leap, or beyond, by 2025,” McGowan reports. Nationally, co-ops had 1,349 MW of solar in their retail fuel mix, NRECA’s Dan Riedinger told The Rural Blog. The Virginia co-op is a national leader in use of renewable energy. “Earlier this year, it became the second generation and transmission co-op nationwide to set a goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Since 2005, the co-op has almost halved emissions of heat-trapping gases.” (Read more…)

Research efforts by The Ohio State University is among 15 projects receiving $35 million in research funding from the DOE. Officials say the funding will help slash carbon emissions and scale up the volume and efficiency of renewable biofuel. (Read more…)

Partner News and Events

Soil, Crop Science Groups Set International Meeting In November

Registration is now underway for an international scientific meeting Nov. 7-10 to be hosted in Salt Lake City, UT, by the American Society of Agronomy, the Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America.

Organizers say the event – “A Creative Economy for Sustainable Development” – will bring together leading and emerging scientific leaders from industry, government agencies and academic institutions who are all working to advance agronomic, crop and soil sciences.

Organizers say the in-person option of the meeting, which is set for the Salt Palace Convention Center, will provide unlimited networking opportunities, innovative scientific abstracts, oral and poster sessions, a robust exhibit hall, technical workshops, and professional tours. There will also be a career center, graduate and undergraduate programs, distinguished lecturers, awards, continuing education units (CEUs), prizes and more.

The virtual option of the event is a limited version of the in-person meeting and includes access to recordings of the opening keynote, the Agronomic Soil Foundation (ASF) Lectureship Series and internationally contributed oral and poster presentations.

In setting the theme for the national meeting, organizers note that the UN has declared 2021 as the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development. The theme ties to research, education, outreach and food production undertaken by the members of the three professional societies staging the meeting.

The work has empowered a proliferation of new tools, data and innovations that can increase the amount of safe, nutritious food grown while increasing numerous positive impacts on soils and the environment. These tools will allow production increases without further damage to natural ecosystems while providing both large and small-holder farmers with new options to reduce the problematic manual labor associated with farming and that make farming a more flexible, stable enterprise.

Sponsors say the theme encourages new ideas for food, feed, fuel and fiber production, and natural resources protection. Organizers say they particularly encourage radical ideas and proposed paradigm changes that may make leaps in our progress towards a sustainable world agriculture economy. The theme will prompt out-of-the-box solutions to the agriculture sector’s problems as we continue to provide sufficient, safe, and nutritious food to a growing global population while faced with mounting environmental and resource constraints.

Discounted registration fees are available through Oct. 1, followed by a two-week period during which registration will rise from 10-15 percent, depending upon attendee status. Attendee fees will top out after Oct. 15.

ABOUT NACSAA

About NACSAA

The North America Climate Smart Agriculture Alliance (NACSAA) is a farmer-led platform for inspiring, educating, and equipping agricultural partners to innovate effective local adaptations that sustain productivity, enhance climate resilience, and contribute to the local and global goals for sustainable development.

NACSAA reflects and embraces all scales of agriculture in Canada, Mexico and the United States, ranging from small landholders to midsize and large-scale producers. NACSAA encourages climate smart agriculture (CSA) strategies to enhance the adaptive capacity of North American agriculture to changing climate conditions and works to achieve this goal through three complementary strategies: 1) sustainably increasing agricultural productivity and livelihoods (i.e. sustainable intensification); 2) enhancing adaptive capacity and improving resilience; and 3) delivering ecosystem services, sequestering carbon, and reducing and/or avoiding greenhouse gas emissions.

North America Climate Smart Agriculture Alliance (NACSAA)

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