The House Agriculture Committee sent out surveys on climate change to farm groups asking them to complete and submit them before hearings on climate change legislation is held. The American Farm Bureau Federation has turned in the questionnaire and made known its preference that instead of a government-mandated program, climate change be dealt with by a market-oriented incentive program.
"Congress should not enact a carbon tax, and a cap-and-trade program should be voluntary," said AFBF President Bob Stallman. "Capping or taxing agriculture or forestry will only limit the potential sequestration benefits those sectors can provide."
Stallman said benefits should be achieved through a robust agricultural and forestry voluntary offset program. The relatively small amount of agricultural and forestry emissions come from thousands of producers, making any cap or tax difficult to administer and enforce.
"Over the past decade, improved agricultural practices such as no-till cropping, targeted chemical applications through global positioning satellite technology and methane digesters have reduced emissions from the agricultural sector," Stallman said. "This demonstrates that if the agriculture and forestry sector are provided proper incentives, they will reduce their emissions even further."