Cargill aims to advance regenerative agriculture practices across 10 million acres of North American farmland by 2030
Published: October 7, 2020
Category: Regenerative Agriculture, The Organic & Non-GMO Report Newsletter
Regenerative agriculture is a major trend today, and the latest indication of that is an initiative by food and ag giant Cargill to support farmer-led efforts to adopt and implement regenerative ag practices and systems on 10 million acres of cropland in North America by 2030.
The initiative will focus primarily on row crop rotations that include corn, wheat, canola and soybeans and other staple crops. Cargill expects these regenerative agriculture practices to benefit the long-term profitability and resiliency of farmers while simultaneously advancing the company’s progress against its science-based climate commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in its global supply chains by 30 percent per ton of product by 2030. The initiative will also contribute to the company’s efforts to protect and enhance water resources.
“When farmers adopt practices, and ultimately systems, such as reducing or eliminating tillage and adding cover crops, we can help mitigate climate change and protect water resources while improving the resiliency of the soil,” said Ryan Sirolli, Cargill sustainability director for row crops. “Investing in soil health principles is how agriculture can help enhance farmer livelihoods while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving water quality and increasing drought resilience.”
While pockets of regenerative agriculture systems exist in North America, there is a need to more rapidly scale soil health practices so that nature and people—including farmers—can reap the benefits.
“The land is a farmer’s most valuable asset—key to their livelihood and productivity,” added Sirolli. “By supporting adoption of soil health principles with our farm partners, we can build healthy soils, increase resiliency and profitability and ensure their success, and the viability of their land, for future generations.”
Cargill will work with partners and other stakeholders across the supply chain to provide farmers access to technical and agronomic resources that support yield and profit objectives, training opportunities, support with data collection for benchmarking and visibility to the needs of downstream consumer facing companies.
Understanding the financial pressures farmers are facing, Cargill will help connect farmers to cost-sharing options and support the development of new market-based solutions to incentivize outcomes that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve and protect water quality, like the Soil and Water Outcomes Fund, of which Cargill is a founding member.
“To feed a growing population and protect our planet, we need to celebrate and elevate farmers who are adopting sustainable agriculture practices and caring for the land while feeding the world. By collaborating across the supply chain with farmers, ranchers, customers and partners, we can scale solutions that drive lasting change,” said Jill Kolling, Cargill vice president of global sustainability.