By Dina Kaur
Land O’Lakes Inc. is pushing more farmers to adopt regenerative practices by working to take away the fear of lost profitability and productivity of their land.
Regenerative practices include everything from cover crops to conservation tillage to nutrient management, said Mariah Murphy, the director of retailer and farmer services at Truterra, the Land O’Lakes sustainability arm..
Land O’Lakes, based in Arden Hills, Minnesota, says it’s prepared to help alleviate the risk of switching to more climate-smart practices that improve soil health.
The cooperative describes itself as one of America’s premier agribusiness and food companies. It operates some of the industry’s most influential brands in the United States, including Land O’Lakes Dairy Foods, Purina Animal Nutrition, WinField United and Truterra.
The company does business in 50 states and more than 60 countries.
Murphy said farmers are on the front lines of changes in weather. They see more flooding and dry spells and the changing climate is making it harder to do business.
“Land O’Lakes has been working for years with our farmers to implement climate-smart agriculture practices that we know can keep farm businesses resilient and profitable for the long term,” Murphy said.
The agriculture sector is in a unique position to be a carbon sink or a source for negative emissions in a way that no other sector can, Murphy said.
Land O’ Lakes is working to develop win-win solutions that reward farmers for their stewardship and make it economically feasible for farmers to adopt regenerative practices, she said
“We are shifting the priority and focus away from maximizing yields from every acre towards deriving overall maximum profitability for the farm,” Murphy said. “So that the value from each acre is defined not only by how much it produces – the crop a farmer can sell, the price per bushel they receive – but also by factoring into that profitability metrics such as soil health, carbon storage and water quality.”
For farmers who are interested in participating in the program, there are a few steps to follow, according to a press release from the company.
They can ask about the Truterra market access program at their local agricultural retailer. Farmers may receive a $2-per-acre incentive to participate in ecosystem markets and learn more about future carbon market opportunities, the company said.
Farmers can also participate in the WinField United Advanced Acre Rx prescription plan, which will provide a warranty to take away part of the risk of this change.
Eligibility for the Truterra carbon program can pay up to $25 per ton of sequestered CO2.
The overall goal of the program is to help farmers improve soil health and, through Truterra and WinField United, become eligible for future market opportunities due to continuous cover and/or tillage changes, according to the press release.