Friday, December 11, 2020

More Michigan farmers stand up to climate-change threats

Posted By on Fri, Dec 11, 2020 at 9:05 AM

click to enlarge SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Shutterstock

With farms and ranches on the front lines of climate change, there's a new effort to keep their lands resilient.

The Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance includes forest owners, food producers, state governments, and conservation groups.



Madu Anderson, director of governmental relations for The Nature Conservancy in Michigan, explained the warming climate is a real threat to the state's 100-billion-dollar agricultural industry.

"We're seeing some more variations in weather, the planting season for various crops has changed," said Anderson. "So, it's important that we support our farmers as they try to address these changes at their farms."

The alliance is promoting federal policies that focus on soil health, livestock and dairy, and forests.

Anderson said they're encouraging and supporting farmers and ranchers who transition to climate-smart practices, and offering incentives to increase on-farm renewable energy and reduce energy consumption.

Anderson explained this means promoting practices like the use of cover crops and precision-nutrient farming.

"For example, in Michigan, we work in the Saginaw Bay region," said Anderson. "And we're encouraging more and more farmers and agricultural producers to adopt these practices. And by providing incentives, we'll get better participation."

While there is a cost and risk to adopting practices like the use of cover crops, Pipa Elias — The Nature Conservancy's director of agriculture for North America — said it's ultimately a win-win.

"It kind of pays off, in terms of having a viable agriculture economy in this country," said Elias. "And on the farms themselves, a lot of these practices are beneficial over the course of a few years to farmers and ranchers, and actually helping the economics on their farm."

The alliance is also encouraging a public-private partnership to reduce the greenhouse-gas impact of food waste and loss within the food supply chain, and increasing federal investments in agriculture, forestry, and food-related research.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

Tags: , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

February 24, 2021

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation