The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) on Wednesday launched a partnership “to improve environmental outcomes while optimizing productivity and profitability.”
“Many practices that increase soil health and water quality also boost farmers’ bottom lines,” said Suzy Friedman, senior director of agricultural sustainability at EDF.
“EDF and NCGA have worked together for many years to align economic incentives and environmental outcomes. Formalizing our partnership was a natural next step to accelerate progress toward our shared goals.”
“The public expects greater stewardship and transparency from farmers, and it’s critical for the agricultural sector to show leadership on conservation,” said Nathan Fields, vice president of production and sustainability at NCGA.“EDF and NCGA are stronger together. We have different expertise and perspectives, and combining them is a real opportunity.”
“Farming is a tough business with tight margins,” said Brandon Hunnicutt, Nebraska farmer and member of NCGA’s Corn Board. “Stewardship has always been a way of life for us, but we also have to stay profitable and productive. EDF was the first environmental group to reach out to farmers and listen to our perspectives. I’m excited to see what EDF and NCGA can accomplish together.”
“Achieving supply chain sustainability goals requires close collaboration throughout the value chain,” said Rod Snyder, president of Field to Market, a group that helps farmers with sustainability metrics.
“This partnership between EDF and NCGA promises to be a powerful way to help translate corporate sustainability commitments into on-farm conservation that works for farmers and the environment,
The partnership will focus on improving water quality and climate resilience, while strengthening yields and profitability, said the news release, which also outlined priorities:
-Data and measurement to improve tracking of water quality, soil health and greenhouse gas emissions, and scale user-friendly technology solutions for data reporting and analysis.
-On-farm engagement to increase farmer and agronomist knowledge about innovative conservation tools and practices.
-Policy advocacy to support voluntary, incentive-based conservation programswith measurable environmental outcomes.
-Finance and economics to explore and grow opportunities for farmers to benefit economically from conservation practices such as cover crops and conservation tillage.
-Outreach and communications to build bridges between farmers and consumers.
© Copyright 2018 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.