Friday, April 29, 2022

Thursday April 28 Ag News


Over 17,000 farms in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota produced and sold food locally through direct marketing practices, resulting in $577 million in revenue in 2020, according to the Local Food Marketing Practices Survey results released today by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). The results cover both fresh and value-added foods, such as meat and cheese.

The more than 3,800 farms that sold food directly to institutions and intermediates brought in the most revenue at $317 million; this was followed by operations with direct-to-consumer sales, such as on-farm stores and farmers markets, at $166 million. Sales directly to retailers accounted for $93.6 million.

Approximately 35,900 people were involved in making decisions for the farms that sold directly in 2020. Of these, 55% were men and 45% were women- a higher proportion of women than among all farms, according to data from the 2017 Census of Agriculture.

Komet Irrigation develops New Concept for Part-Circle Sprinklers

Komet Irrigation, based in Fremont, Nebraska, has developed a new part-circle sprinkler design, the Komet Precision Twister (KPT) PC-180 – to be the first that provides both dry wheel tracks, as well as a consistent droplet size and uniform water application, throughout the wetted area.

Until the launch of the KPT PC-180, part-circle sprinklers have usually come in the form of either fixed-spray or rotating stream devices. While both types of sprinklers fulfill their primary purpose, neither is geared towards maintaining uniform water application.

“The KPT PC-180 is an adaptation of Komet’s original KPT sprinkler design, a sophisticated distribution device that delivers unmatched uniformity, droplet size and energy efficiency,” says Josh Mosier, general manager and technical sales director of Komet Irrigation Corp., USA & Canada. “Our part-circle design combines the core principles of the KPT with a unique sprinkler deflector and groove configuration that effectively directs water off the pivot structure without compromising irrigation.”

Built for installation on rigid drops around the towers, the KPT PC-180 features a standard angle and multi-jet trajectory for controlling droplet size consistency in a 180-degree wetted pattern across the entire throw and nozzle range.

The part-circle sprinkler also pairs gentle water application and low instantaneous application with the proper overlap of individual sprinkler patterns. This enables efficient infiltration of water to the root zone while reducing wind drift and minimizing the risk of run-off or soil sealing.

“Komet Irrigation is focused on field-specific irrigation solutions. By working closely with growers, we’ve identified and developed a unique range of pivot sprinklers that maximize irrigation efficiency for different application requirements,” Mosier emphasizes. “The KPT PC-180 sprinkler represents our latest advancement for providing dry wheel track solutions – an aspect of irrigation that can pose great challenges for a system’s functionality and performance if not addressed.”

The Komet Irrigation pivot product line-up is the successful result of a ten-year research and development process. The precision manufacturing of every Komet sprinkler component includes strict quality controls and field testing over many irrigation seasons in a variety of terrains, soils, water conditions, crop types and climates to ensure the highest levels of performance, reliability and adaptability in many field environments.

Eight Governors Request Permanent Solution for Year-Round E15 Sales

Today, Governor Pete Ricketts joined a bipartisan group of eight Midwest governors in a letter to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officially exercising their authority to ensure E15 can be sold all year.

This action follows President Joe Biden’s announcement on April 12 that his administration would lift the summertime ban on E15 between June 1 and Sept. 15, 2022, to help ease high gas prices. E15, gasoline containing 15% ethanol, can save drivers up to $.10 more per gallon that E10.

E15 would require another waiver next year to be sold during the 2023 summer months; however, the letter sent to the U.S. EPA today includes a permanent fix for E15 and all higher ethanol blends to have no limitations on availability. Under the Clean Air Act, governors have the authority to ask EPA to equalize the summer regulations for E10 and E15. Currently, E10 and E15 are regulated differently, allowing oil refiners to specifically send gasoline blends that exhibit a Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) that may be used in E10 but not E15.

Reid Wagner, administrator of the Nebraska Ethanol Board, thanks Governor Ricketts for his leadership to ensure that all Nebraskans continue to have uninterrupted access to blends of gasoline that are lower in emissions, better for our engines, and save us all money at the pump.

“In conjunction with the passing of Nebraska’s Higher Blends Tax Credit this month, this action is key to encouraging retailers to further invest in infrastructure to make higher ethanol blends more widely available,” Wagner continued.

Joining Governor Ricketts were the governors of Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Combined, these eight states account for over 10 percent of U.S. gasoline use – a market larger than California.

E15 is safe and approved by the EPA to use in vehicles 2001 or newer. Drivers with Flex Fuel Vehicles can use blends up to E85. In Nebraska, E85 is available at 125 fueling stations and E15 is available at around 110 fueling stations. Locations can be found at If our nation moved to a fuel standard of E15, consumers would save $12.2 billion in fuel costs every single year, according to industry expert Growth Energy.

The governors provided information demonstrating that the action they seek will reduce emissions of certain pollutants that can lead to ground-level ozone formation. This accounts for a reduction in harmful aromatics, including nearly 2.5% of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in Nebraska.

Biofuels, including ethanol, are underutilized in today’s fuel market but don’t need to be. Nebraska ethanol plants have the capacity to produce 2.6 billion gallons each year but only produce about 2.2 billion gallons. By allowing broader use of lower-cost ethanol blends permanently, Nebraskans could better protect the Earth from the impending climate crisis, enhance our nation’s energy security, and increase ethanol’s economic benefits.

The transportation sector generates the largest share of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which pose severe environmental and health issues. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, biofuels reduce GHG emissions by 46% compared to gasoline. Additionally, when blended in gasoline, ethanol displaces toxic aromatics, reducing particulate matter, carbon monoxide, BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene), and other pollutants that lead to respiratory issues, heart disease, and even death.

ICGA Thrilled with Governor Reynolds’ Announcement of Proposed Permanent E15 Solution for Midwest Region

Members of the Iowa Corn Growers Association® (ICGA) appreciate the action of Governor Reynolds along with seven other Midwest governors to request a permanent waiver for year-round sales of E15. This is an important request to the EPA that will provide relief, flexibility and certainty for cleaner-burning blends of ethanol from E15 and higher, not just for today but for the long-run.

Together with the governors from Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin, Governor Reynolds sent a letter to EPA to request the ability of E15 to be sold year-round to decrease volatility and lower emissions for better air quality. These states represent over 10 percent of all fuel sales, over half of the nation’s E15 fueling stations, over 70 percent of the nation’s ethanol plants and nearly 70 percent of the corn grown in the United States.

Ethanol is a top market for Iowa’s corn farmers and by removing barriers to sell E15/Unleaded 88 year-round drivers will have access to a higher octane, lower carbon fuel that is also more affordable. This announcement compliments the relief that President Biden announced earlier this month for a summer 2022 E15 fix and extends that certainty for retailers and access to E15 for drivers.

ICGA thanks Governor Reynolds for taking this important step by requesting the EPA allow E15 and higher blends of ethanol to be available for drivers year-round. ICGA will continue to work on behalf of corn farmers to provide market access for Iowa corn and corn products.

Governor Kim Reynolds Leads Eight Midwest States in Permanent Fix for Year-Round E15 Sales

Today Governor Kim Reynolds led a bipartisan group of eight Midwest governors in a letter to EPA officially exercising their authority to ensure E15 can be sold all year. E15 is commonly priced 10 to 30 cents less per gallon than E10.
“Today Governor Reynolds led a bipartisan group of governors to protect E15 sales here in the Midwest,” said Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Executive Director Monte Shaw. “With no clear nationwide fix in sight, these Governors decided it was time to take action on a state level and protect access to a fuel that saves family pocketbooks, reduces smog-forming emissions, boosts farmer income and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. This is a permanent fix for E15 and all higher ethanol blends. The importance of today’s action cannot be overstated to the future growth of ethanol use in the United States.”
Under the Clean Air Act, governors have the authority to ask EPA to equalize the summer regulations for E10 and E15. Currently, E10 and E15 are regulated differently, allowing oil refiners to game the system by not supplying the proper gasoline to blend for summer E15.
Joining Governor Reynolds were the governors of Nebraska, Illinois, Kansas, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Combined these eight states account for over 10 percent of US gasoline use – a market larger than California.
“While these governors are leading the way, it’s not too late for others to follow suit,” added Shaw. “States that don’t exercise their authority will see low cost E15 forced out of their markets and retailers will be hesitant to expand access in their states. This has been an incredible week for E15 here in Iowa. Thanks to Gov. Reynolds, Iowa will have a permanent solution for year-round E15 and a just-passed nation leading E15 access bill. This is what real leadership looks like.”

Growth Energy Supports Governors’ Efforts to Secure Permanent, Year-Round Access to E15

Today, Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor thanked Governors Kim Reynolds (R-Iowa), Pete Ricketts (R-N.E.), Doug Burgum (R-N.D.), Tony Evers (D-Wis.), Laura Kelly (D-Kan.), Kristi Noem (R-S.D.), JB Pritzker (D-Ill.), and Tim Walz (D-Minn.) for their efforts to secure permanent access to year-round E15, a fifteen percent ethanol blended fuel. The coalition of governors sent a letter to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Regan calling for parity between E10 and E15 in their states fuels through Section 211(h)(5) of the Clean Air Act and included analysis of the environmental benefits of doing so.  

“We are grateful to Governors Reynolds, Ricketts, Burgum, Evers, Kelly, Noem, Pritzker, and Walz for working to secure permanent, year-round access to cleaner, lower-cost E15 fuel,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “While President Biden’s recent decision to lift restrictions on E15 fuel nationally this summer was a welcome and exciting announcement, particularly as drivers across the nation continue to face high gas prices, we need a permanent fix to protect access to E15 next summer and beyond. The governors’ timely request to Administrator Regan would allow more drivers in their states to save money at the pump and reduce vehicle emissions as we work toward a national permanent solution.

“Our nation cannot let outdated regulations stand in the way of a clean energy future and we look forward to EPA’s affirmative response on this issue.”

RFA Thanks Midwest Governors for Taking Action to Allow Year-Round E15

Governors from eight Midwest states notified the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today that they are taking action to allow the year-round sale of lower-carbon, lower-cost E15 in their states.
The bipartisan group of governors from Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin is exercising the authority granted to them under the Clean Air Act, and the action will result in equality in the regulation of E15 and E10 volatility during the summer months. This would allow retailers and marketers in these eight states to sell E15 unincumbered in 2023 and beyond.
“We thank Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and this entire bipartisan group of governors for their determined leadership,” said Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “These governors should be applauded for pursuing a simple regulatory solution that will allow consumers in their states to benefit from E15’s lower cost and lower emissions 365 days a year. Once this notification is approved by EPA, it will mean lower pump prices for drivers in these eight states, lower tailpipe pollution, a more secure energy supply, and a more vibrant rural economy. These states have guided the way forward on E15, and we call on other states and the EPA to follow their lead, so that the benefits of E15 can be permanently enjoyed by drivers across the nation.”
In their letter, the governors thanked EPA for its emergency waiver for E15 this summer and stated more work needs to be done to provide a long-term solution. “While this emergency RVP waiver will deliver economic relief and energy security benefits in the near term, a permanent solution allowing the year-round sale of E15 is also needed for long-term certainty,” they wrote. The governors provided information demonstrating that the action they are seeking will reduce emissions of certain pollutants that can lead to ground-level ozone formation.
Cooper also highlighted recent research from refining sector experts that showed the action sought by the governors would impact gasoline production costs by just 1.5 cents per gallon or less in the Midwest.
These eight states account for more than 10 percent of the nation’s gasoline consumption and are home to:
    57 percent of the nation’s 2,512 stations currently selling E15;
    72 percent of the nation’s 206 ethanol biorefineries;
    69 percent of the nation’s 407,000 ethanol-related jobs;
    59 percent of the nation’s 305,000 farms that grow corn; and
    69 percent of the nation’s corn production.

ACE Applauds Midwest Governors for Working to Ensure Retailers Can Sell E15 Year-Round  

The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) applauded the bipartisan group of Midwestern governors today for their letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan, officially requesting from EPA their state authority to ensure retailers can continue to sell E15 all year long without interruption. ACE CEO Brian Jennings issued the following statement thanking the Midwest governors:

“ACE thanks this bipartisan group of Midwest governors for their leadership to ensure E15 can be sold year-round to help bring down prices at the pump while simultaneously reducing tailpipe emissions. E15 is a low-cost, clean fuel blend and losing access to this growing clean fuel market will only harm everyone through even higher pump prices and greenhouse gas and tailpipe emissions.

“ACE stands by these Governors as they pursue all options to ensure E15, a clean and safe fuel with lower RVP emissions than E10 and straight gasoline, can be sold year-round for years to come.”

Governors Kim Reynolds (R-Iowa), Pete Ricketts (R-Nebraska), Tim Walz (D-Minnesota), Tony Evers (D-Wisconsin), Doug Burgum (R-North Dakota), Kristi Noem (R-South Dakota), Laura Kelly (D-Kansas), and JB Pritzker (R-Illinois) signed the letter.

2021 Nebraska Poultry Production and Value

The value of egg production in Nebraska during 2021 was $156 million, up $1.91 million from $154 million in 2020, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Egg production in 2021 was estimated at 2.40 billion eggs, down 36.4 million from the previous year. Average number of layers for 2021 at 8.16 million was down 428,000 from 2020.

U.S. Value of Production and Sales Up 31 Percent

The combined value of production from broilers, eggs, turkeys, and the value of sales from chickens in 2021 was $46.1 billion, up 31 percent from $35.1 billion in 2020. Of the combined total, 68 percent was from broilers, 19 percent from eggs, 13 percent from turkeys, and less than 1 percent from chickens.

Value of all egg production in 2021 was $8.68 billion, up slightly percent from $8.66 billion in 2020. Egg production totaled 111 billion eggs, down 1 percent from 112 billion eggs produced in 2020.

Meat Animals Production, Disposition, and Income 2021 Summary

Total 2021 production of cattle and calves and hogs and pigs for the United States totaled 85.9 billion pounds, down slightly from 2020. Production increased 1 percent for cattle and calves but decreased 1 percent for hogs and pigs.

Total 2021 cash receipts from marketings of meat animals increased 23 percent to $101 billion. Cattle and calves accounted for 72 percent of this total and hogs and pigs accounted for 28 percent.

The 2021 gross income from cattle and calves and hogs and pigs for the United States totaled $101 billion, up 23 percent from 2020. Gross income increased 15 percent for cattle and calves and 46 percent for hogs and pigs from previous year's gross income.

Cattle and Calves: Cash receipts from marketings of cattle and calves increased 16 percent, from $63.1 billion in 2020 to $72.9 billion in 2021. All cattle and calf marketings totaled 61.4 billion pounds in 2021, up 4 percent from 2020.

Cattle & Calves 2021 Gross Income By State

Nebraska ...:  $11,370,541,000  
Iowa ..........:  $4,113,255,000  

Hogs and Pigs: Cash receipts from hogs and pigs totaled $28.0 billion during 2021, up 46 percent from 2020. Marketings totaled 41.8 billion pounds in 2021, down slightly from 2020.

Hogs & Pigs 2021 Gross Income by State

Nebraska ....:    $1,064,051,000   
Iowa ...........:    $9,406,870,000   

Milk Production, Disposition, and Income 2021 Summary

Milk production increased 1.3 percent in 2021 to 226 billion pounds. The rate per cow, at 23,948 pounds, was 171 pounds above 2020. The annual average number of milk cows on farms was 9.45 million head, up 56,000 head from 2020.

Cash receipts from marketings of milk during 2021 totaled $41.8 billion, up 3.5 percent from 2020. Producer returns averaged $18.54 per hundredweight, 2.1 percent above 2020. Marketings totaled 225.2 billion pounds, 1.3 percent above 2020. Marketings include whole milk sold to plants and dealers and milk sold directly to consumers.

Cash Receiptes, by State, 2021

Nebraska ....:            $261,960,000          
Iowa ...........:            $1,037,572,000          

USDA Announces Popcorn Board Appointments

The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced the appointment of three members to serve on the Popcorn Board. The appointees will serve three-year terms, immediately, to Dec. 31, 2024.

Members newly appointed to serve are:
    Sam Krug, Chapman, Nebraska
    Tracy Boever, Sioux City, Iowa
    Eric J. Sieg, Ramsey, Indiana

The Popcorn Board currently has five processor members. Board members are nominated by their industry and appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture. Members can serve up to two consecutive three-year terms.

More information about the board is available on the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Popcorn Board webpage and on the board’s website,

America’s Farmers are Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions fell more than 4% percent from 2019 to 2020, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The most recent Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks shows agriculture continues to represent just 10% of total U.S. emissions, much lower than other economic sectors.

American Farm Bureau Federation economists analyzed the data from EPA in the latest Market Intel. 2020 overall emissions from agriculture fell at least 4.3%, or 28.8 million metric tons, compared to 2019. Emissions from agricultural soil management like fertilizer application and tillage practices were reduced by 8.4%.

“The most recent numbers show America’s farmers and ranchers are dedicated to feeding America’s families while remaining committed to improvements in sustainability,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “Farmers are dedicated to doing even better through voluntary, market-based incentives that allow them to capture more greenhouse gases while meeting growing food demands here at home and abroad.”

Compared to 70 years ago, farmers and ranchers are getting almost three times more out of their production than what they put into it. Per unit emissions continue to decrease among livestock as well, a 21% reduction in pork, 26% in milk and 11% reduction of emissions per unit of beef production.

Trade Is Top Priority At U.S.-China Agricultural Dialogue

U.S. Grains Council (USGC) President and CEO Ryan LeGrand took part in the U.S.-China High Level Agricultural Dialogue last week in Des Moines, Iowa, joining a gathering designed to promote open discussion on cooperation and development of trade between the United States and China.

LeGrand, along with the CEOs of Continental Grain, Syngenta and the U.S. Soybean Export Council, took part in a panel discussion on the steps to increase trade between the U.S. and China.

“Agricultural trade is the highlight of the current relationship between the two countries, and the Chinese government has sent a clear, positive signal to American farmers,” LeGrand said. “Tariff barriers are not helpful in solving the hunger problem facing the world. If the two countries can play a leading role in free trade in agriculture, the whole world will benefit.”

Three ambassadors from and to China spoke at the forum, including U.S. Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns, Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. Qin Gang and former U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad.

“In the past 10 years, agricultural trade between China and the United States has grown by a total of $10.5 billion,” Ambassador Qin Gang said. “Facts have proven that China-U.S. economic and trade relations are win-win in nature, and to restore normal trade ties between the two countries as soon as possible is the shared call of both sides.”

The event, hosted by the United States Heartland China Association (USHCA) and the China Agricultural Association for International Exchange (CAAIE), had nearly 200 high level participants in attendance, including government, education, national and international agri-business leaders. The Council and the Iowa Corn Growers Association, a Council member, both sponsored the event.

On the heels of it, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) announced China had purchased 1,347,000 metric tons (MT) (53,028,696 bushels) of corn. Of that total, 735,000 MT (28,935,480 bushels) were for the 2021/2022 marketing year (MY), while 612,000 MT (24,093,216 bushels) were for the 2022/2023 marketing year.

The Council will continue to monitor the trade relationship between the United States and China as part of its mission of developing markets, enabling trade and improving lives.

 Groups Urge Congress to Fund USDA’s Ag Research Service at $1.9 Billion

As lawmakers consider appropriations funding for FY23, ASA is urging Congress’ continued support of the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS).

The American Soybean Association and 50 other members of the Friends of the Agricultural Research Service (FARS) Coalition sent a letter this week to House and Senate ag appropriators requesting no less than $1.90 billion in funding to support USDA’s chief scientific in-house research agency’s critical role in advancing ag and food research.

The requested $1.9 billion would include ARS salaries and expenses, along with $112 million for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) and $15 million directed to the new Big Data Initiative.

“This level of funding will ensure that ARS can respond to new plant and animal pests and diseases, weather and environmental stresses, and food safety and nutrition security concerns,” the coalition states in the letter.

CHS Foundation Awards Precision Agriculture Grants to Six Colleges and Universities

The CHS Foundation, funded by charitable gifts from CHS Inc. (NASDAQ: CHSCP), announced today six grants totaling $829,000 to support development, education and sustainable benefits of precision agriculture. The CHS Foundation supports agricultural and energy-related projects at colleges and universities across the CHS trade area through its annual competitive grant program. In 2021, that program focused on precision agriculture and cooperative education.

Colorado State University is the largest recipient of the 2022 grants, receiving more than $250,000 to develop a new precision irrigation curriculum for high school ag students and educators.

"The CHS Foundation recognizes the continuing strength and importance of precision agriculture and remains committed to supporting education that develops future ag leaders," says Nanci Lilja, president, CHS Foundation. "The world depends on agriculture, and the industry has never been more important than it is today. We need innovation and technology advancements to drive agriculture forward and attract the best possible talent to our industry."

The CHS Foundation has committed more than $3.1 million since 2018 to support new and expanding precision agriculture programs at colleges and universities around the U.S.

Projects funded as part of the $829,000 initiative are:
    $256,723 to Colorado State University to develop a new precision irrigation curriculum for high school students and educators
    $218,211 to Montana State University to create a precision ag model farm for interdisciplinary research and education
    $25,000 to Lake Area Technical College, Watertown, S.D., to further develop its precision ag simulation lab
    $246,422 to Oklahoma State University for hands-on learning in precision ag technologies and to develop skills in sensors and autonomous systems
    $67,875 Lake Region State College, Devils Lake, N.D., to purchase state-of-the-art hardware and software for precision ag research and development
    $15,000 Redlands Community College, El Reno, Okla., to support its agriculture technology program in development

New Soil Health Institute Study Provides Insights into the Role Soil Organic Carbon Can Play in Improving Soil Health and Reducing Drought

A new peer-reviewed research report published by the Soil Health Institute provides fresh insights into the vital role that soil organic carbon levels can play in preventing drought, reducing flooding and improving the health and water retention of the soils used to grow crops.

The publication includes the development of new pedotransfer function equations, available for use by other researchers, that enable more precise measurement of the correlation between carbon levels, water retention and various soil types. These new equations will allow scientists to better predict how much water farmers can provide to their crops through improved soil health – specifically, by raising their soil carbon.

According to SHI, the global non-profit charged with safeguarding and enhancing the vitality and productivity of soils, healthy soil that is rich in carbon acts like a sponge to soak up rainfall and store it for crops. While farmers have known this for a long time, it has been hard for scientists to predict how much extra water farmers can expect when they use regenerative agriculture practices that improve soil carbon. This is important because many farmers consider water management to be the biggest reason to adopt soil health management practices like no-till or cover crops.

“A positive, causal relationship between soil organic carbon and plant water-holding capacity has direct benefit by increasing crops’ resistance to drought,” said Dianna Bagnall, a soil research scientist with SHI and lead author of the study.

According to Bagnall, previous research on this relationship has been mixed, with some findings showing negligible impact on soils’ water-retention capacities from higher soil carbon levels while others showed a substantial increase in water holding. This new study took a different approach, drawing on a more comprehensive sample of soil from locations throughout North America, using more natural, preserved soil structures, and identifying levels of calcium carbonate, which can impact water-holding capabilities, in the soil samples as part of its analysis.

“Our findings showed an increase in water-holding capacities for non-calcareous soils (those lacking calcium carbonate) resulting from soil organic carbon that was more than double that of earlier studies,” Bagnall said. “This is an exciting development, since it provides a concrete incentive for farmers to adopt more responsible soil management practices that will positively impact their productivity and profitability.”

To help farmers evaluate the impact carbon sequestration and other practices might have on their businesses, SHI is developing a decision support tool. “The new SHI tool will allow farmers to review various management practices to achieve a targeted increase in available water-holding capacity and better drought resilience in their soils,” Bagnall said.

The complete SHI study, entitled “Carbon-Sensitive Pedotransfer Functions for Plant Available Water,” can be accessed at
The new equations discussed in the study are freely available for use by other scientists.

“Our hope is that other scientists and conservationists will build on this work to develop new models for how soils can offset carbon emissions and make agriculture more drought resistant,” Bagnall said.

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