While more affluent countries in North America, Europe and Oceania showed negative land-use change emission, there was substantial farm-generated pollution. | File photo

Ag practices threaten climate goals: study

Research team presents an inventory of land-use contributions to carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide emissions

A recently published paper in Nature says a new study at the University of California, Irvine, showed that rising emissions from agricultural land clearing and land-use practices will jeopardize climate change goals unless major changes are made. The Paris Agreement climate change accord signed in 2015 aims to limit global warming to less than two […] Read more

Western Producer reporters Doug Ferguson, Ed White and Robert Arnason look at the challenges and opportunities created by an increased focus on ag’s carbon footprint — and the pressures farmers face to get it done. | WP illustration

The carbon crunch

The world must cut agricultural emissions by an estimated two-thirds by 2050 to help fight climate change while simultaneously producing 50 percent more food, said an American researcher. Serious efforts must be made to put “real money into what I call collaborative projects … where farmers, scientists, the private sector are working together to explore […] Read more

Canada’s beef production system enjoys some of the lowest greenhouse gas emissions per kilogram of beef in the world, according to Tim McAllister, principal research scientist for Agriculture Canada in Lethbridge. | File photo

Beef sector’s sustainability defended

It is vital to separate fact from fiction when it comes to climate change and the Canadian beef industry, said an expert. “Really, what we’re talking about here in most agricultural systems is trade-offs,” said Tim McAllister, principal research scientist for Agriculture Canada in Lethbridge. “There’s no one system that’s perfect.” However, he said Canada’s […] Read more


Tom Vilsack’s recent comments are a strong signal that a carbon sequestration market for agriculture may become a reality in the United States, which could put pressure on Ottawa to follow its neighbour’s lead. | Reuters/Bing Guan photo

U.S. ag secretary wants soil carbon market

Federal agriculture department asks farmers and ag groups for input on how to structure a carbon sequestration market

Only a minute into his speech on March 1, U.S. agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack mentioned carbon sequestration and paying farmers to store greenhouse gases in the soil. Vilsack, who spoke virtually to the U.S. National Farmers Union annual convention, said he will be “very active” on climate change and is determined to create new streams […] Read more

The soybean industry says U.S. president Joe Biden’s campaign promise to move the government fleet to electric vehicles is more of a threat to ethanol than biodiesel.  | Reuters photo

U.S. soy sector has high hopes for Biden

The American Soybean Association thinks it may have a receptive ear in Washington when lobbying on some of its key policy objectives. That is because president Joe Biden’s administration is keenly focused on addressing climate change and promoting sustainability programs. Steve Censky, chief executive officer of the ASA, hopes that means the U.S. Environmental Protection […] Read more


Vilsack, who spoke virtually to the U.S. National Farmers Union annual convention, said he will be

U.S. ag secretary wants soil carbon market

Only a minute into his speech on March 1, United States Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack mentioned carbon sequestration and paying farmers to store greenhouse gases in the soil. Vilsack, who spoke virtually to the U.S. National Farmers Union annual convention, said he will be “very active” on climate change and is determined to create new […] Read more

The jury is still out as to whether producers can actually add enough carbon to their soil and keep it there while remaining profitable.  | File photo

USDA must find carbon sequestration answers

The issue remains a challenge for agriculture, but more research, farm testing and adaptation could offer solutions

One topic most red, blue, and green politicians — and farmers — agree on is climate change — it’s real. In fact, notes the December 2020 Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll, 58 percent of Iowa farmers and landowners now agree that climate change is occurring and is caused by either human activity or nature. […] Read more

One of the developments Bayer has been lauding during the Future of Farming Dialogue is short-stat-ure corn, which is designed to be much easier for smallholders to manage and tougher in the face of bad weather. | Bayer photo

Small farmers called key to fight against climate change

Bayer president says the world’s ‘smallholder’ producers can make a difference by sequestering carbon in their soil

The smallest farmers might be the key to successfully using agriculture to fight climate change, Bayer Crop Science president Liam Condon said in a recent presentation. So many millions of “smallholder” farmers have so much improvement with their farming that the gains could be huge. “We believe agriculture can actually be part of the solution […] Read more


Temperatures on the Canadian Prairies are on track to increase six degrees this century if greenhouse gas emissions aren’t reduced.  | File photo

What to know about climate change

Next week, the National Farmers Union will examine government policies that can support farmers in reducing greenhouse gas emissions while simultaneously increasing margins and net incomes. The greatest threat to Canadian agriculture is climate change. Unless all nations slash greenhouse gas emissions, Canadian farmers will face large temperature increases, intensifying droughts and floods, the loss […] Read more

Don’t take farming and food for granted says U of C report

Canadians and Canada’s governments shouldn’t take farming and food for granted. That’s the bottom line of a June 9 report from the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy. “Food security in Canada is not something to be taken for granted and government policy action must reflect the essential service agriculture provides for our nation,” […] Read more