Agriculture Changes the Climate for the Better
Often, agriculture is portrayed in the media as a negative contributor to a warming climate. But the evidence shows the opposite effect. In fact, by its very nature, American agriculture makes positive contributions to our climate each day.
Despite climate change concerns, agriculture can produce climate-related benefits. In fact, NASA satellite imaging shows that at the peak of the growing season, the United States corn crop produces more oxygen than the entire Amazon Rain Forest.
“Of course, as described in this example, agricultural crops take CO2 out of the air and replace it with the O2 we animals need to breathe,” said soil scientist and Vice-President of The Greenleaf Group Bruce A. Kimball. “Further, to the extent, the crops can sequester the C from the CO2 in the soil or in the trunks of tree crops, agriculture can mitigate climate change.”
Kimball, (retired collaborator) who previously worked for USDA’s U.S. Arid-Land Agricultural Research Center in Maricopa, Arizona suggests our continued improvements in seed development and irrigation management can further these successes.
How Farmers and Ranchers Support a Better Climate
And when it comes to protecting, enhancing, and preserving our climate, Arizona farmers and ranchers are second to none. Our farmers regularly use
- innovative farm & ranch practices and technology,
- better seeds,
- green energy,
- and climate-smart practices
to tackle challenging weather events and save the planet.
Thanks to our climate-friendly practices, Arizona farmers and ranchers today produce more food and renewable fuel and fiber, using less water and land than ever before.
Using no- and low-till practices, crop rotation systems, range management through grazing, and precision irrigation technology, farmers and ranchers …
- Protect against erosion,
- Preserve natural habitat & native grasses,
- Conserve healthy soil,
- Avoid nutrient loss,
- Conserve water,
- Increase wildlife habitat, and
- Improve biodiversity.
Examples of Success
And all the numbers show what Arizona and American farmers and ranchers are doing is working.
- Over the last decade, nearly 3 trillion pounds of corn have been used to produce clean, renewable ethanol and biodiesel. In 2018 alone, the use of these clean fuels reduced carbon emissions in an amount equivalent to taking 17 million cars off the road.
- Thanks to the responsible management employed by our farms and ranches, livestock production accounts for a mere 3.3% of greenhouse gas emissions.
- U.S. production agriculture, land use and forestry are a net sink for carbon emissions, removing 172 million metric tons of C02-equivalent emissions from the atmosphere in 2017.
For ongoing information check in regularly to Arizona Farm Bureau’s website, www.azfb.org.
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