Senate Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry Committee Hearing: Agriculture Leading the Way on Climate Change

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May 22, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) President & CEO Chris Jahn today applauded the testimony of Mr. Matt Rezac before the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry during a hearing entitled Climate Change and the Agriculture Sector.

“Matt Rezac is a 4th generation farmer who fully embodies what it means to be a good steward of the land by embracing 4R nutrient stewardship principles as part of the Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN program,” said Jahn. "SUSTAIN and similar agronomy programs demonstrate the added value that farmer-owned cooperatives and agricultural retailers can bring to their grower customers by providing robust data, analytics and insights to help make informed management decisions on the farm.

“The land Matt farms has been in his family for nearly 140 years, and he has plans to leave the land better for his kids and grandkids,” Jahn continued. “You can’t do that when you don’t care. Like Matt, being good stewards of our shared resources is something the fertilizer industry has long known and championed through increased efficiencies and promoting sustainability and nutrient best management practices.”

“On the fertilizer production side, our industry captured, re-used or recycled nearly a quarter of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2017 and generated over half of all operating energy through waste heat capture. The amount of C02 emissions captured in 2016 was the equivalent of taking 1.7 million cars off the road for a year,” Jahn said. “In terms of practical land use, fertilizer has helped reduce global deforestation, the effects of which harm our planet’s ability to absorb carbon emissions. Without the yield increasing benefits of fertilizer on just corn alone, our country would need an additional 175 million acres of farmland, which is roughly the size of Texas.”

Mr. Rezac’s testimony also highlighted the power farmers have to battle climate change through conservation best practices championed by TFI and other organizations. “Every day, farmers like me make stewardship decisions that impact more than 1.4 billion acres or rural lands,” Rezac testified. “The men and women that make management decisions on that land every day are making a positive difference and leading the way on climate solutions.”

“Addressing climate change is something we are all in together. We are proud of our achievements and will continue to innovate to increase our efficiency and enhance sustainability efforts, as we have done for years,” concluded Jahn. “It is not an either-or situation. To steal a line from Mike’s testimony, ‘[W]e can produce an abundant food supply, safeguard resources for the future, maintain our businesses and lead the way on climate solutions.’”

 

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The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) is the leading voice of the nation’s fertilizer industry. Tracing its roots back to 1883, TFI’s membership includes fertilizer producers, wholesalers, retailers and trading firms. TFI’s full-time staff, based in Washington, D.C., serves its members through legislative, educational, technical, economic information and public communication programs. Find more information about TFI online at TFI.org and follow us on Twitter at @Fertilizer_Inst. Learn more about TFI’s nutrient stewardship initiatives at nutrientstewardship.org and on Twitter at @4rnutrients.