Paying farmers for climate practices improves entire food system

An ag researcher says climate investments in agriculture need to be consistent over time for any meaningful impact to be made.

Michigan State University’s Bruno Basso tells Brownfield long-term sustainability needs to be prioritized as private and public sector climate programs develop.

“The core benefits are built over time and, even though farmers have the pressure to continue to build profit, that’s where the incentive and the supports are critical for farmers so that they can continue to implement farmer smart practices over time to build a long-term sustainability of the system,” he explains.

Basso’s research lab recently received a $20 million USDA Climate Smart Commodity grant to model the impact and verify certain management changes using satellite imagery.

“By creating regional baselines and also quantifying the amount of soil carbon that is accumulated while implementing no tillage cover crop in corn and soybeans,” he says.

Basso says agri-businesses working to reduce their carbon emissions and paying farmers for ecosystem services will improve the entire food system and the environment.

Burno highlighted the research his lab conducts on the impact of climate change and agricultural systems as part of this week’s Universal Food Forum in Washington D.C. led by MSU.

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