Guest Post: Biofuels Enable Farmers to Combat the Climate Crisis
American farmers are arguably the backbone of our economy. But with record-low prices and ever-increasing carryovers, how are grain farmers supposed to make it, much less thrive?
The answer is simple. Biofuels are the catalyst to successful agriculture.
With successful agriculture, we can solve many of the world’s toughest challenges like climate change, poverty, hunger and disease.
Reversing the climate crisis
Farmers are the key to reversing the climate crisis and, at the same time, have the ability to dramatically improve their operation.
By incorporating a few existing technologies and practices, agriculture in the U.S. today has an enormous potential to become a carbon sink.
POET is working to financially incentivize producers who lower the carbon intensity (CI) of their grain through the Gradable™ program. Many farmers are already utilizing these strategies, and now have the opportunity to be rewarded for Earth-friendly practices.
Launched by FBN® in September, Gradable is an integrated platform which measures and scores conservation efforts focused on carbon abatement strategies. This allows farmers to see the impacts of incorporating sustainable farming practices and the data to make relevant economic decisions while also working to solve climate change.
Addressing rising carryouts
For generations, yields have outpaced demand for grains. This demonstrates successful innovation within the farm community, but it has led to overproduction. In turn, grain values have continued to fall below the cost of production.
Without growing domestic markets for increasing corn yields, the U.S. will continue to flood the global market with cheap corn. Cheap grain does not equate to more abundant, affordable food. Just the opposite.
When markets are flooded with surplus crops that are sold below the cost of production due to farm subsidies, it depresses world prices.
Boosting the domestic market
Farmers need to be able to run a successful operation, and to do so, they need strong markets.
At POET, we’re working on getting higher blends of ethanol into the marketplace so that our industry can grow right along with increasing yields.
Currently, the biofuels industry purchases around 40 percent of the U.S. corn crop, producing clean, affordable fuel, nutritious feed for livestock and many other critical products. This is a critical market for grain, and it needs to expand with ever-increasing yields to balance the market.
If the U.S. increased ethanol in the fuel supply from 10 percent to 15 percent nationwide, it would result in a market of almost 2 billion bushels of additional corn demand for the American farmer.
This would provide the economic incentive to encourage farmers to employ the latest practices that will help heal the world. Farmers need a higher portion of the gas tank to remain successful.
We need your help
To bolster the domestic market for grain, we need consumers to understand the environmental, economic and health benefits of fueling their vehicles with biofuels.
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The views expressed in this article are the author's alone and not those of Farmer's Business Network, Inc., its affiliates or members.© 2015-2020 Farmer’s Business Network, Inc. All rights reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network,” “FBN,” and “Farmers First” are registered service marks of Farmer’s Business Network, Inc. or its affiliates and are used with permission. Copyright ©2020 Gradable. All rights reserved. “Gradable” and the Gradable logo are registered trademarks of Gradable.