COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo .– Cargill President and CEO David MacLennan addressed members of the National Feed and Grain Association at the organization’s 125th annual convention, recognizing farmers and ranchers as the heroes of food system that have played a vital role in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“When the world stopped, farmers, ranchers and workers across the food system came together to meet the challenge of producing the food and feed upon which billions of people and animals around the world depend,” MacLennan said.
He acknowledged that while the COVID-19 disruptions are still at play, it is not the only pressing challenge facing the food and agriculture industry right now.
“The biggest challenge we face is to feed a rapidly growing population in a sustainable and responsible way – reducing our emissions, protecting our water resources and improving the health of the soil on which our crops and crops depend,” did he declare. “Agriculture is part of the solution the world needs right now. Agriculture is how we will solve climate change and sustainably feed a growing population.
MacLennan spoke of the need for extensive and sustainable efforts at every point in the supply chain to sustainably and responsibly feed a rapidly growing population estimated to number nearly 10 billion people by 2050.
“Inaction is not an option,” he stressed. “Too often our industry is blamed for climate change. I see another story. Farmers and ranchers are the heroes of our food system. And they play a vital role in creating a more sustainable future for our industry and the world.
“The changes we make at the root of our supply chain will have the greatest impact – reducing emissions, improving water quality, sequestering carbon and building the resilience of our soils for the next day.” generation.
“Companies can set as many climate goals as they want. But without the support and leadership of farmers, none of this will happen. They must lead the way and we are here to work with them in this important and continuing effort.
Cargill has made significant progress in advancing its sustainability commitments, including its science-based climate commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in its global supply chains by 30% per tonne of product d ‘by 2030.
The company is also working to support voluntary farmer adoption of regenerative agriculture on 10 million acres of North American farmland during the same time frame.
Through financial contributions and partnerships throughout the supply chain, Cargill supports, trains and removes financial barriers for farmers who want to restore the health of their soils, plant cover crops, use soil management practices. more sustainable grazing and better use of their water.
For example, through the Iowa Soil and Water Outcomes Fund, farmers can receive $ 30 to $ 50 per acre for practices such as cover crops, reduced tillage, and optimized nutrient management.
Cargill is also advancing research to assess the economic benefits of regenerative agriculture. In a study conducted by the Soil Health Institute among 100 farmers in nine states, researchers found that soil health management systems increased the incomes of 85% of farmers growing corn and 88% of farmers growing soybeans. .
Average income for corn producers increased by $ 52 an acre and soybeans by $ 45 an acre. Additionally, farmers reported lower average costs, increased yields, better crop resistance to extreme weather events, and better water quality.
“Farmers are leading the way. They are on the front lines of climate change every day. And we need to improve on the good work they’re already doing, ”MacMillan said. “The benefits of regenerative agriculture are clear. But so are the barriers. To see change, we have to work together. Agriculture is the way we are going to do it.