Cargill launches regenerative agriculture program

The company is the latest to push improved soil practices to meet its consumer commitments

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Cargill plans to have an impact on regenerative agriculture practices on 10 million acres in North America.

The company recently announced plans to meet its climate commitments.

Cargill will focus on row crops, especially corn, wheat, soybeans, canola and other major crops in North America.

The company said in a statement that “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 per cent per ton of product by 2030.”

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Agriculture provides opportunity for farmers and Cargill to affect climate change while ensuring a safe, responsible food system.

“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.”

Cargill says the initiative will also contribute to the company’s efforts to protect and enhance water resources.

Regenerative agriculture systems have been adopted in some areas in North America, but Cargill says soil health practices need to be rapidly scaled, so that farmers and nature can “reap the benefits”.

Cargill says it will work with partners across the agriculture supply chain to provide technical and agronomic resources for farmers that will support yield and profit objectives. Data collection for benchmarking will also be encouraged so that downstream consumers will be able to see progress.

The company says it understands the financial pressures facing farmers and will help them connect with market-based solutions and other programs related to regenerative agriculture.

“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.

Cargill says it already has several partnerships underway, including some in Canada to encourage nutrient stewardship.

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