This week, members of the Western Association of State Departments of Agriculture are meeting in Whitefish, Mont. Leading a discussion on climate and energy policy, National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson addressed the significant impacts climate has on agricultural production. He listed altered precipitation patterns, reduced marketable yields, increased crop damage risks, decreased productivity and increased disease and pestilence pressure as a few of the adverse effects already noted and studied that need a solution.
Johnson also outlined the potential for agriculture to play a role in providing solutions for our nation's climate and energy needs. Johnson told association members that multiple studies have found significant financial gains for U.S. farmers and ranchers, confirming that there is a place for agriculture to play a vital role in the solution to this growing problem. NFU has long supported climate and energy legislation that is beneficial to agriculture.
Johnson said placing regulations on producers is not the best approach to climate and energy policy. He said increases in input costs could be sufficiently offset by income from carbon and renewable energy. According to a University of Tennessee study, under a properly constructed climate and energy program allowing for multiple practices, net returns for virtually all major crops are positive.