Monday, March 1, 2021

Vilsack tackles climate change

In his first speech since Senate confirmation, United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack told the U.S. National Farmers Union annual convention that he will be “very active” on climate change and is determined to create new streams of revenue for American farmers.

U.S. President Joe Biden has committed to take action on climate change and farming can be part of the solution, Vilsack said.

“I think agriculture is (positioned) to be a leader in this effort. You’re not going to be able to sequester carbon (in the soil) unless you engage rural America on farms and ranches,” he said.

“To do that, we need to create financial incentives and markets… that are designed, constructed and implemented for farmers.”

He has started the process to create a carbon sequestration market. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is asking for input from farmers and ag groups about how the market should be structured.

Canadian farmers have been lobbying for carbon credits, such as cover crops and no-till cropping, but agricultural economist Al Mussel said the federal government only seems to view farming as a problem.