Saving Rainforests Would Help U.S. Agriculture

Cindy Zimmerman

“Saving rainforests isn’t just for treehuggers anymore.”

adpartnersThat’s the message past National Corn Growers Association president Fred Yoder of Ohio has about a new report showing that ending deforestation could boost revenue for U.S. producers by between $196-$267 billion by 2030.

Yoder participated in a conference call today releasing the report, entitled “Farms Here, Forests There: Tropical Deforestation and U.S. Competitiveness in Agriculture and Timber” which was authored by Shari Friedman of David Gardiner & Associates on behalf of the National Farmers Union and Avoided Deforestation Partners.

“American farmers and ranchers know the importance of being good stewards of the land,” said National Farmers Union president Roger Johnson, who recently returned from a weeklong trip to Brazil where he studied the interaction between agriculture and deforestation. “With family farmers fighting to hold onto their land, we’ve got to make sure we’re not being undercut by irresponsible practices like deforestation.”

Among the key findings of the report are that ending deforestation through incentives in US and international climate policy would boost U.S. agricultural revenue by $190 to $270 billion between 2012 and 2030. This increase includes $141 to $221 billion in direct benefits from increased production of soybeans, beef, timber, palm oil and palm oil substitutes. Soybean-producing states like Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Indiana and Nebraska each stand to gain between $2.6 and $6.8 billion in increased revenue if tropical deforestation is halted by 2030. The U.S. beef industry would gain between $53 and $68 billion by 2030 if deforestation is halted, with the largest increases in revenue going to Texas, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma.

Read more about this report and state-by-state breakdowns on benefits here.

Listen to or download audio sound bites from Yoder and Johnson below:

Audio, Beef, Corn, Environment, Soybean