Impact of COVID-19 on Agriculture

Earth Day Highlights Agriculture’s Success in Greenhouse Gas Emissions

News / Newsline April 22, 2021

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The Environmental Protection Agency recently released new annual data on greenhouse gas emissions. Micheal Clements shares what the report shows for agriculture.

Clements: The newest Annual Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report from the Environmental Protection Agency offers a sector by sector look at emissions. As we celebrate Earth Day, American Farm Bureau Federation Economist Shelby Myers says the report includes good news for agriculture.

Myers: They just finalized their newest report. And for agriculture, we stayed relatively neutral compared to last year. And U.S. agriculture greenhouse gas emissions contribute just 10.2 percent overall compared to some of the other economic sectors, like transportation, electricity, industry, commercial and residential.

Clements: Myers attributes the findings to the conservation efforts by farmers and ranchers.

Myers: We’re actively trying to make our footprint even smaller, converting waste into energy, applying conservation and working lands programs into our everyday cropping system, and really utilizing the tools at hand to work on things like carbon sequestration. And if you look over the last 70 years, U.S. farms have nearly tripled in production, but the amount of resources we put into that like land, energy and fertilizer have remained nearly stable.

Clements: Myers says it is important farmers and ranchers make sure others know about their success.

Myers: We’ve been doing such great work over the last 100 plus years in our ability to conserve resources and produce food. And so, continue to tell our story, talk about the improvements that we’ve made through innovation and technology and how it’s contributed to reducing our emissions and reducing our overall environmental footprint.

Clements: Micheal Clements, Washington.

To learn more about how America’s farmers and ranchers are leading the way in climate-smart practices that reduce emissions, enrich the soil and protect our water and air, all while producing more food, fiber and renewable fuel than ever before, visit fb.org/sustainability

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