by Jacqueline Heard, Ph.D., MBA Founder and CEO, Enko Chem, Inc.
As we mark Earth Day 2023, I’m reminded by how interconnected the future of our planet is with the future of ag. Farmers are on the front lines of climate change, experiencing the pressures of feeding more people and sustaining their livelihoods amidst new instabilities.
One of the critical levers that shape our agricultural system is public policy, and the Farm Bill is on the table again in Washington here in the US.
We have seen great bipartisan support over the past few years that needs to continue. Successful farms increase food production which in turn sustains our farming community and reduces the cost of food.
Here are the 3 initiatives that should be featured in the2023 Farm Bill to help farmers grow successfully:
1. More mitigation: Support mitigation and adaptation efforts to curb the effects of climate change. Farmers are experiencing the impact today. The regions that are most impacted need more support in the form of new insurance products while increasing forward-looking mitigation efforts such as conservation tillage, cover crops, and on farm renewable energy.
2. Business resilience: Facilitate resilient business models for regions and farms, that holistically incorporate risk management, technology, financing, education, and on the ground resources with an eye toward environmental sustainability, soil health and crop diversity.
3. Actionable AI: Embrace new technologies that will help accelerate advances in productivity – such as AI that turns data into actionable information and decisions. Whether using AI to design safe and sustainable chemistry to combat farmers' biggest crop threats (as is the case with Enko) or by applying AI driven agronomic tools to manage on-farm costs and inputs, technologies can increase the speed at which our industry can respond to current and emerging problems while building resiliency into our agriculture economy.
Policies must help secure the availability of nutritious, affordable food today and into the future.
In our last 101 blog we talked about the key tenets of regenerative ag which include building back healthy soil. But what does healthy soil really mean?
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Enko collaborate on novel crop protection.