Farm4Profit Podcast

Growing with Purpose: What is Climate-Smart Agriculture?

Episode Summary

Joining us is Dylan Vaca, the Brand and Marketing Manager at The DeLong Co., Inc. Get ready for a deep dive into climate-smart agriculture, the challenges farmers face, and the innovative practices reshaping the industry. Stay tuned for a conversation that's all about cultivating a greener future for farming.

Episode Notes

Dylan Vaca | The DeLong Co., Inc                      CSC - Brand and Marketing Manager





·         The DeLong Company launched the new brand, Grown Climate Smart, which is dedicated to incentivizing and supporting the development of sustainable practices on farms. This brand is developed and managed by The DeLong Company Which was awarded a $40 million Climate-Smart Commodities USDA grant to develop and market a new brand that aims to track greenhouse gas reductions and  resulting from growers implementing climate-smart practices.

o   The DeLong Company is a 6th generation family owned business with 38 grain, seed, agronomy and export logistics locations around the country. The DeLong Company is the largest U.S. exporter of containerized agricultural products.

·         We have over 200,000 sustainably farmed acres producing grain enrolled in the program for 2023.

o   - corn, soybeans, wheat, rye, sorghum, alfalfa

·         The four practices we are encouraging farmers to do are

o   Cover Crops

o   Reduced or No Till

o   Nutrient Management Plans

o   Windbreak Establishments or Renovations


Other Talking points about sustainable farming

·         A key issue that the program seeks to address is the lack of a standardized definition of a Climate Smart Commodity. Grown Climate Smart hopes to not only establish a definition but provide clear examples and practices that meet climate-smart requirements.

o   A CSC will be defined as a commodity produced on an acre of ground that employs a minimum of one high benefit NRCS practice, follows the general guidelines of the program, and is marketed and labeled as a CSC.

o   The adoption of the practice should have a measurable impact on carbon reduction, and the commodity should be traceable in the supply chain. The implementation of this program will better define what a CSC is by identifying and communicating specific practices to be enrolled in a climate smart program, educating producers on CSC implementation practices, communicating and educating producers on how these CSC practices reduce GHG emissions and improve carbon sequestration, and marketing and labeling products as CSCs. Establishing a clear definition will enable CSCs to be effectively marketed to consumers.

·         Importance of Soil Health: The significance of soil health in sustainable and regenerative farming practices. Healthy soil supports plant growth, sequesters carbon, improves water retention, and promotes biodiversity.

·         Sustainable farming integrates three things: environmental health, economic profitability, and social and economic equity.

·         Sustainable practices are becoming more the norm, and less niche but we still have considerable work to do.

o   I have some statistics I can provide from the USDA regarding the 4 practice trends over time.