Panel: Ag Should Seize Climate Moment

Groups Point to Climate Legislation as Roadmap to Expanding Opportunities in Ag


By Todd Neeley, DTN/Progressive Farmer



LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) -- Agriculture interests on the front lines of charting a climate course for farmers and ranchers say there may never be another time like the present to expand conservation and other carbon-sequestration programs.


With numerous pieces of federal legislation introduced that could provide economic opportunities for agriculture to expand conservation efforts, panelists speaking to reporters during the North American Agricultural Journalists conference on Wednesday said that there may not be another funding opportunity quite like this.


The Growing Climate Solutions Act was reintroduced in the U.S. Senate last week and is drawing bipartisan support. (See "Groups Support Carbon Credit Bill" at .) The bill would create a certification program at USDA to provide technical assistance for farmers and forest owners to enroll in a carbon-credit market.


House Ag Committee Chairman Rep. David Scott, D-Ga., said on Tuesday he would like to move the Growing Climate Solutions Act through the committee but lacks support from House Ag Committee ranking member Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Pa.


Randy Russell, principal of the Russell Group representing the Food and Ag Climate Alliance, said on Wednesday that he's optimistic the act can be completed this year.


"Look, I would hope that we could get the Growing Climate Solutions Act up on the Senate floor and passed," Russell told ag reporters...