Blog Archives

Planting the Seeds for ‘Greener’ Farms

Sustainable ag makes its bid for cap & trade revenues

Reducing tillage is one technique farmers are trying out to cut carbon emissions.

Supporters of sustainable agriculture are looking forward to some “sustenance” of their own, after an eleventh-hour win in Sacramento. Just as the state’s last legislative session was drawing to a close, Assembly Bill 1532 passed by a vote of 51-28, sending to the governor’s desk a system for allocating cap-and-trade auction revenues, which are expected to reach into the billions of dollars by the end of next year.

AB 1532, authored by Assembly Speaker John Pérez, lays out an approach for ensuring that all proceeds from the sale of permits be used to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Among the eligible activities identified in the bill are farming and ranching practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and sequester carbon, such as reducing soil tillage, improving energy and water efficiency, and reducing synthetic fertilizer use through compost, cover crops, and crop rotation. Continue reading

Quick Link: “El Niño is coming, but weakly – sort of”

The Pacific warm-water phase known as El Nino is gathering momentum but don’t batten down the hatches just yet, as the impact on California weather remains ambiguous. Often associated with drenching winter storms, this occurrence seems too weak to have forecasters in an uproar.

Thanks to a tiny but consistent warming of the Pacific Ocean half a world away, the Bay Area will experience an El Nino season this year, beginning this month. If that idea conjures up images of fearsome storms and tumultuous winds – as one infamous El Nino pattern caused in the late 1990s – fear not.

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