Sep 26

Monsanto announces $1.6 million investment to help reduce greenhouse gas reductions

harvested-fall-corn-fieldST. LOUIS – The U.S. Department of Agriculture – Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) recently awarded the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and its Soil Health Partnership (SHP) a $1 million Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) to help farmers better understand and adopt farming practices that help reduce climate change impacts.

Monsanto announced recently it also intends to make an additional investment of $1.6 million in this collaborative effort to help provide expertise, tools and needed resources to further develop a system that will help verify and quantify greenhouse gas reductions from carbon smart farming practices.

USDA’s CIG program fosters innovation in conservation tools and strategies to improve things like on-farm energy and fertilizer use as well as market-based strategies to improve water quality or mitigate climate change.

“Climate change is a global challenge facing the entire planet and agriculture has the opportunity to be a huge part of the solution. We’re honored to be partnering with NCGA and the SHP on this grant from USDA-NRCS. Together, we can bring focus and resources to help identify ways that modern agriculture helps drive sustainability,” said Brett Begemann, Monsanto President and Chief Operating Officer. “We look forward to continued collaboration with farmers and forward-thinking industry partners who are leading the way in making greenhouse gas reduction a reality on the farm.”

Monsanto, in conjunction with the CIG project partners (NCGA, AgSolver, Applied GeoSolutions, DNDC-ART, Climate Smart Group and CropGrowers) will develop a framework that draws on existing greenhouse gas modeling science, emerging verification technologies (satellite data), and proven precision business planning methods to drive adoption of conservation practices and validate that farmers are helping achieve greenhouse gas reductions.

“To significantly scale up greenhouse gas mitigation practices, a sustainable agriculture systems approach is needed that is simpler and more cost-effective for the farmer,” said Michael Lohuis, Ph.D., Monsanto’s Director of Ag Environmental Strategy. “The system being developed will help remove barriers to confirming adoption of best practices and to quantify the benefits these innovative farm practices can have to air, soil and water quality.”

Monsanto is committed to sharing key learnings with farmers around the world to scale up adoption of carbon neutral agriculture practices. The company is working closely with farmers on sustainable agriculture systems and has pledged to make its own operations carbon neutral by 2021. As part of that commitment, last month the company released a scientific report titled, “Charting a Path to Carbon Neutral Agriculture: Mitigation Potential for Crop Based Strategies,” which examines the potential for reducing GHG emissions through agriculture in the United States. The report shows that adoption of innovative production practices such as cover crops, conservation tillage, precision nutrient management and data science could potentially result in the reduction of more than 100 million metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions in the United States alone.

For more resources and information on Monsanto’s climate change efforts and collaborations, see the company’s 2015 sustainability report, Growing Better Together.

Monsanto is committed to bringing a broad range of solutions to help nourish our growing world. We produce seeds for fruits, vegetables and key crops – such as corn, soybeans, and cotton – that help farmers have better harvests while using water and other important resources more efficiently. We work to find sustainable solutions for soil health, help farmers use data to improve farming practices and conserve natural resources, and provide crop protection products to minimize damage from pests and disease. Through programs and partnerships, we collaborate with farmers, researchers, nonprofit organizations, universities and others to help tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges.

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