NAWG testifies on carbon markets before House Ag Committee

National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) president and Cass City, Mich., wheat farmer, Dave Milligan, testified today during a House Agriculture Committee hearing on voluntary carbon markets in agriculture and forestry.

Milligan highlighted several benefits growing wheat has on the environment, such as improving soil quality, protecting the soil from erosion and reducing weed pressure when added to a crop rotation. Milligan discussed the unique characteristics of wheat production and potential participation in voluntary carbon markets. Wheat production includes diverse rotations and existing conservation and crop management systems that are specific to the climate, soil and markets. Milligan also stressed that as carbon markets are explored, growers will need technical assistance to understand both the agronomic and environmental impact of additional climate-smart practices.

Milligan highlighted NAWG’s interest in voluntary carbon market opportunities that work for diverse wheat production systems across the country, but those growers still have many questions.

“The carbon credit will be generated on the farm. The farmer needs to have an equitable return as the carbon credit increases in value,” Milligan said. “NAWG is cautiously optimistic about voluntary carbon efforts and while we see the potential to have both an increasingly positive environmental impact and additional revenue stream for those ecosystem services, there is still a lack of transparency in program details and growers have questions about the voluntary carbon markets.”

NAWG will continue to advocate for wheat growers to reflect their needs in voluntary carbon markets and voice their concerns and questions about requirements, costs, measurement and carbon pricing of the numerous carbon efforts before growers.

Watch a video of the hearing here.