Monsanto is an agricultural company. When farmers succeed, they succeed. Using the tools of modern biology, they help farmers grow more yield sustainably so they can produce more and conserve more.
Crop plants must compete with 30,000 species of weeds, 3,000 species of nematodes and 10,000 species of plant-eating insects. Despite the use of modern crop protection products, 20-40% of potential food production is still lost every year to pests. An adequate, reliable food supply cannot be guaranteed without the use of crop protection products.
Climate Change and Food Production
Our climate has changed many times during the Earth’s history resulting in weather patterns and periods that have lasted decades to millions of years. Climate change may occur in smaller regions or across the whole Earth affecting rainfall patterns, snow and ice cover, sea level, and contribute to elevated greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide concentrations. Today, the term climate change most often refers to changes in modern climate as a result of human activities.
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The unique nature of U. S. agriculture and the role that it has played and can play in addressing climate change are many. Specifically, our industry is proud of the role that agricultural chemicals have played in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Through the use of agricultural herbicides, crop yields can increase by up to 20% but also enable growers to manage weeds without excessive tillage. Such practices result in annual saving of 337 million gallons of fuel that tilling would require and prevents an estimated 356 billion pounds of disturbed soil from eroding into rivers and streams. Conservation tillage is a solution to greenhouse gas emissions in at least three ways: Less fossil fuels burned for tillage; Carbon sequestration increased in lower tilled soils; Greater productivity per acre of land in production.
In fact, the net effect of higher yields has avoided emissions of up to 161 gigatons of carbon since 1961 and investment in yield improvements compares favorably with other commonly proposed mitigation strategies. Therefore investment in agricultural yields should be a prominent step among efforts to reduce future greenhouse gas emissions.
CropLife America's Position
- CropLife America encourages a uniform Federal approach to legislation around climate change with sufficient flexibility to allow for localized implementation and to take into account those differences in soil type, crops, and weather to ensure that an important balance is achieved.
- Climate change legislation should recognize the pressures on agriculture and the important role that it will continue to be asked to play in addressing the problems of world hunger and meeting the growing demand for renewable fiber and fuels.