The American Farm Bureau is locked in an unlikely fight with the Securities and Exchange Commission over a proposed rule it says could force farmers to keep an inventory of climate emissions.
AFBF’s Travis Cushman says it’s more ‘red tape’ and cost for producers. Farm Bureau says requiring farms to keep records of all climate emissions in making Ag products used by public firms, will hurt.
“What that means for a farmer is almost every product they sell, at some point, will touch a public company. That company will have to report on the emissions of that farm. It has the potential to mean, the farmer is going to have to keep track of a very, very onerous set of emissions data, from carbon dioxide to methane, to a slew of other emissions, and has potential to require a farmer to keep track of every gallon of diesel, he puts in his tractor.”
All of which could hit many farmers hard according to Cushman. “We’re wildly worried, this is going put a huge squeeze on small and mid-size farms, that simply don’t have the capacity to keep track of all this information—or the time.”
When Cushman argues Ag is already reducing emissions; “Agriculture is leading the charge in reducing the carbon footprint of America. We’re much, much more efficient, we’re (among) the most efficient producers in the world, here…and this rule, I think, would be a setback for those aims.”
AFB President Zippy Duval calls the SEC proposal “overreach,” that could keep small farms from doing business with public firms at a time when all farms are needed for food security here and abroad.