Senate Ag Hears Cap And Trade Concerns

One of Sen. Tom Harkin’s last acts as chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee on was to preside over a Sept. 9 hearing on cap and trade and its effects on agriculture. Harkin (D-IA) expressed concerns about the structure of a cap and trade marketing system. “Markets that aren’t properly and carefully regulated will blow up and the economy and environmental goals of the program will blow up with it,” Harkin said.

Prior to hearing testimony from producers of corn and soybeans, dairy, rice, and grapes, ranking Republican Member Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) noted that Texas A&M University’s Agricultural and Food Policy Center (AFPC) last week released a report illustrating the effects of the House-passed American Clean Energy and Security Act on 98 representative farms in its database.

“The study says that 71 of 98 farms will be worse off under the House cap and trade plan, even in the early years of the program. Most concerning, the 27 farms that benefit do so only because other producers go out of business,” Chambliss said. “Not one rice farm or cattle ranch benefits, while only one cotton operation and one dairy benefit mainly due to the fact that they both grow a significant amount of feed grains.”

Ohio farmer Fred Yoder, past president of the National Corn Growers Association, was the first to testify on the producer panel. He raised concerns about language in the House bill that would penalize early actors who commenced no-till or other conservation practices earlier than 2001 and would be prohibited from participating in a carbon market. He also drew attention to an important provision in the bill related to the Renewable Fuels Standards that prohibits EPA from considering indirect land use change when conducting their life cycle analysis for corn based ethanol until a peer reviewed study can be conducted to verify the scientific accuracy of the current modeling. “The language in the House bill is a step in the right direction towards sound science a more rational life cycle analysis. We would urge the Senate to include the same provision in its version of the climate bill,” Yoder said.

Among those offering testimony on the subject of regulating carbon markets was David Miller, Iowa farmer and chief science officer for AgraGate Climate Credits Corp., a company affiliated with Iowa Farm Bureau. Miller gave his input on ways to structure and streamline the carbon credit program so that it would be an incentive to farmers and benefit the soil. “Market transparency is critical to the smooth operation of a carbon market, so that prices are publicly reported and readily available,” he told the committee.

He also indicated that right now offsets are valued differently for soil, forestry, or methane and value can even vary according to geographic location. “All these variances increase the transaction of costs associated with marketing carbon offsets,” Miller said. “The end brings fewer returns to the farmer or rancher hoping to enroll. That’s no incentive.”

This was the second hearing on the climate change bill in the Senate Agriculture committee and may not be the last. New Committee Chair Sen. Blanche Lincoln (R-AR) voiced concerns about passing cap-and-trade legislation at all this year. “If we do move forward, the regulation of carbon markets is something we need to get right,” said Lincoln.

(Source: ZimmComm New Media)

Leave a Reply

Legislation Stories
LegislationUSDA: Quick Implementation Of Disaster Assistance Programs A ‘Top Priority’
July 9, 2014
USDA has processed 106,000 payments to farmers in 40 states across the country who suffered livestock and grazing losses between Oct. 2011 and passage of the 2014 Farm Bill. Read More
LegislationTFI Praises White House For Signing WRRDA Into Law
June 11, 2014
The bill streamlines U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects, prioritizes authorized waterway improvements and provides needed adjustments to the Inland Waterways Trust Fund. Read More
LegislationAg Policy: Plenty Of Fertilizer Issues Ahead
January 2, 2014
From West Fertilizer to the Chesapeake Bay, fertilizer producers and dealers are keeping an eye on several Beltway developments in 2014. Read More
Farm Bill
LegislationLack Of Farm Bill Leaves Farmers Facing Uncertainty In 2014
December 13, 2013
With just a few legislative working days remaining in 2013, the likelihood of a new farm bill is waning, leaving farmers in limbo once again. Read More
Top 100 Articles
CropLife 100Pinnacle Agriculture Acquires Minnesota Retailer
April 14, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings, LLC, ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100,  has successfully acquired Liebl Ag, LLC in Ada, MN.  Read More
CropLife 100CHS, Aurora Cooperative Complete Fertilizer Storage, Grain Shuttle Loading Facility
April 13, 2015
CHS Inc., the nation’s leading cooperative and ranked No. 5 on the CropLife 100, and Aurora Cooperative (ranked No. 21) Read More
CropLife 100GROWMARK Acquires Missouri Refined Fuels Terminal
April 2, 2015
Bloomington, IL-based GROWMARK and Magellan Pipeline Co. have entered into an agreement in which GROWMARK will acquire the refined fuels Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Acquires South Dakota Retailer
April 2, 2015
Wilbur-Ellis Co.’s Agribusiness Division, a recognized leader in precision agriculture technology and the distribution and marketing of plant protection, seed Read More
CropLife 100The McGregor Co. Closes Smith-Kem Acquisition
April 2, 2015
The McGregor Co. — ranked No. 16 on the CropLife 100 list of largest U.S. ag retailers — has completed Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Commemorates National Ag Day
March 20, 2015
The Illinois agriculture community gathered at BRANDT global headquarters on March 18 to celebrate National Ag Day behind this year's theme Sustaining Future Generations. Read More
Latest News
ManagementSyngenta-Monsanto deal talk; Ohio field work on the mov…
May 6, 2015
Rumors of a deal between Syngenta and Monsanto heat up once again, while planting continues apace in Ohio’s corn and Read More
StewardshipBayer CropScience Announces $100K Pollinator Habitat In…
May 6, 2015
Bayer CropScience is investing over $100,000 in a project with Integrated Vegetation Management Partners, Inc. (IVM Partners) designed to improve Read More
Town & Country Co-op Smithville, OH 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certified
StewardshipThree Town & Country Co-op Facilities Certified In …
May 6, 2015
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced that Town & Country Co-op’s facilities located in Loudonville, Smithville, and Sullivan, Read More
Industry NewsMonty’s Plant Food Adds New Territory Manager
May 6, 2015
Monty’s Plant Food Co., a leader in natural soil enhancement and plant  fertility products, has hired Paul Miles as a Read More
InsecticidesVestaron’s Bioinsecticide Now Registered For Use On Mor…
May 6, 2015
Vestaron has received expanded EPA registration for its biological insect control products. These innovative bioinsecticides, which are derived from newly Read More
Sunrise Cooperative Norwalk Agronomy
StewardshipSunrise Cooperative Facilities All Certified In 4R Nutr…
May 5, 2015
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced that all four of Sunrise Cooperative Inc.’s agronomy branches, located in Attica, Read More
Crop InputsSyngenta Scientist Named 2015 National Inventors Hall O…
May 5, 2015
The National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) announced its 2015 class of inductees. Among the 14 honored is scientist Mary-Dell Read More
Eric SfiligojIARC Glyphosate Report: A Closer Look At ‘Probabl…
May 5, 2015
By now, you’ve probably run across a story or two (probably closer to 100) detailing the ongoing controversy over the Read More
Syngenta
Eric SfiligojWill Monsanto And Syngenta Combine This Time?
May 4, 2015
Under the heading of “never say never,” it sounds as if crop protection/seed giants Monsanto Co. and Syngenta are once Read More
Dr. Bryan Young, Southern Illinois University, shows tour attendees a female Palmer amaranth plant.
Crop InputsPurdue Weed Scientist Publishes Weed Resistance White P…
May 4, 2015
Resistant weeds, the appropriate use of herbicides and integrated weed management strategies are highlighted topics in the new white paper, Read More
Industry NewsMonsanto-Syngenta Mega-Merger Would Drive More Deals
May 4, 2015
A combination of Monsanto Co. and Syngenta AG would set the stage for even more mergers and acquisitions, reports Brooke Read More
InsecticidesAgrian Announces New California Feature
May 4, 2015
Agrian announced today that it has developed a feature within its recommendation writing program that will support the California Department Read More
Storage Tanks at Nachurs
FertilizerNachurs Alpine Solutions: Liquid Fertilizer With Precis…
May 4, 2015
When it comes to fertilizer options in 2015 and beyond, ag retailers are taking a long, hard look at liquid. Read More
West Central Sac City growers
StewardshipIowa Lawsuit Challenges Ag’s Water Quality Efforts
May 3, 2015
Nutrient problems in west-central Iowa’s water supply made national headlines in March when the Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) filed Read More
Tim Hassinger Dow AgroSciences President and CEO
Crop InputsDow AgroSciences: Always About Agriculture
May 2, 2015
When you consider their respective backgrounds, it’s little wonder why Dow AgroSciences and new President/CEO Tim Hassinger ended up together. Read More
Nozzle spray close-up
AdjuvantsSpray Drift Enters More Complex Era
May 1, 2015
Off-target movement of crop protection products has been a problem for decades. The issue got more contentious when glyphosate-tolerant crops Read More
Crop InputsTop 10 Twitter Pics For #Plant15
April 30, 2015
Growers and ag retailers are working feverishly to plant this year’s crop. Fortunately, many of them still have time to Read More
ManagementIowa Retailer Sticks Up For Agriculture and New Spray D…
April 30, 2015
Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about how one Iowa ag retailer is working to defend agricultural practices and an Read More