Climate mitigation on USDA conservation programs, senator suggests – March 24, 2021

Climate mitigation on USDA conservation programs, senator suggests

The government should use USDA conservation programs as the starting point for climate mitigation on the farm and “tread lightly” with unproven ideas like a carbon bank, said the senior Republican on the Senate Agriculture Committee on Tuesday.

USDA hits ‘pause’ on cattle tracking proposal

Nine months after proposing a phase-out of metal and plastic identification ear tags, the USDA decided they can be used indefinitely on cattle that cross state borders, as well as on cattle exhibited at fairs and on dairy cattle.

Today’s Quick Hits

Tax incentives for ethanol: Verbio North American Corp. received $ 2.6 million in Iowa tax incentives to build an ethanol production line at its plant in central Iowa; the company previously received tax incentives to produce renewable natural gas at the plant. (Des Moines Register)

Ground Zero in CAFO debate: Critics of a large hog farm to be built in Livingston County in northwestern Missouri have faced a rollback of local control over factory farms; now a state agency wants to weaken oversight of potential water pollution by CAFOs. (Columbia Missourian)

Newton to Senate Ag: After three years as chief economist for the largest U.S. farm group, John Newton will become chief economist for the Republican minority on the Senate Agriculture Committee, said Sen. John Boozman of Arkansas. (Ag Insider)

Fed adds climate change to oversight: The Federal Reserve plans to make climate change a major part of its oversight by creating a new committee that will assess the risks a warming planet poses to the financial system. (Bloomberg)

Solar panels and canals: Scientists calculate that if solar panels were constructed on top of the 4,000-mile network of water-supply canals in California, they would prevent the evaporation of 63 million gallons of water annually while generating 13 gigawatts of renewable power. (Wired)

Up in flames: Hundreds of companies pledged a decade ago to stop deforestation by 2020, but only four followed through, according to the nonprofit CDP. (Grist)

America’s Farm Report