Recently WFA worked with partners in California to support the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Healthy Soils Initiative (HSI) which is housed in the Agriculture Climate Benefits Act, SB 367. This initiative was designed to funnel more than $20 million into a new program to support sustainable agriculture efforts that not only address climate change mitigation, but also promote biodiversity measures on the farm. This initiative is a step in the right direction and will serve as a model for other states working to address climate change mitigation through on-farm measures. We sent the director of CFDA a letter (Click here to read the full letter) stating our support along with recommendations on improving the initiative to include more conservation measures.
Supporting and enhancing soil in itself is awesome, but benefits won't be realized if the soil erodes away or if more nitrogen leaves the farm than carbon stored. In our letter to the CDFA we also recommend that the distribution of incentive and demonstration funds takes into consideration the full cost of conservation, the realities of farming in California, conservation compliance, and includes nonprofits in the list of potential farm conservation HSI partners that can help make this initiative a success.
Beyond the Healthy Soils Initiative, WFA remains steadfast in our fight to increase biodiversity and climate change mitigation on the farms. We are helping farmers establish more wildlife habitat and incorporate climate friendly farming practices.