January 20, 2020

Climate Legislation; Ag Economy; Dairy Issues; Food Prices; Nutrition Programs; Crop Insurance; Animal Agriculture; and EU Imports

Climate Legislation- Lawmaker’s Perspective

An update posted yesterday at FarmWeek (Illinois Farm Bureau) indicated that, “The iffy proposition of lucrative ag carbon ‘credits’ for farmers is unlikely to square with ‘the certainty of higher input costs’ under current congressional climate proposals, according to U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), former ag secretary and an outspoken critic of House cap-and-trade proposals.

After health care, Johanns sees climate debate as the next hot button for Congress this fall: President Obama wants that, and I think it’s going to be one of the next issue queued up, But the feeling in farm country is quite different — he argues Nebraska farmers are ‘enormously skeptical, if not downright opposed’ to proposed greenhouse emissions caps projected to impact future electrical, fuel, and input costs.

“‘You’ll pay more for fertilizer and diesel fuel and electricity to run your irrigation pump,’ Johanns warned during an RFD Radio/FarmWeek interview Monday. ‘On the other side, I think the benefits are very, very uncertain. I think this idea that farmers are going to make money by trading credits is very uncertain promise.

“‘If I were a farmer out there, I’d want the certainty of what I’m doing now, and even at that, that can be very uncertain. Add cap-and-trade to it and what you add is higher input costs with no promise of what comes out on the other end.’”