From flooded corn fields to cherry crops damaged by erratic spring weather, climate change is hurting Michigan farmers.
But Democratic U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan says farmers can help reduce global warming.
“Folks in the agriculture community are very, very interested in what they can do,” she says.
And many are already taking action. For example, some farmers install wind and solar or capture the methane emitted by manure and use it to generate electricity.
“They’re using what they create on the farm,” Stabenow says, “to be able to power the farm and not create pollution.”
She says farmers can also store a great deal of carbon in their soil, for example, by reducing tilling and planting cover crops in the off-season.
“There’s a lot that they’re already doing, but we can ramp it up much more,” she says.
So Stabenow is pushing for federal policies that help farmers invest in climate-friendly land-use practices.
She helped write the most recent Farm Bill, which removes some barriers to cover cropping. And she helped introduce a new bill designed to encourage better soil management by helping farmers participate in carbon offset markets.
She says with adequate support, farmers can play a vital role in addressing the climate crisis.
Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.