In a world grappling with environmental challenges, the imperative to increase the use of sustainable and regenerative farming practices has never been more clear. The challenge is incentivizing farmers to continue or adopt these conservation practices and building end markets that reward them for doing so.
Grown Climate Smart aims to solve that problem.
The program will incentivize farmers that produce commodities such as corn, soybean, wheat, sorghum, rye, oats, and alfalfa to adopt more conservation practices on their land while producing measurable greenhouse gas reductions and soil carbon sequestration. Grown Climate Smart collaborates with consumer packaged goods companies to label their products, indicating the integration of climate-smart commodities as ingredients, enabling consumers to make informed choices and support sustainable farming practices.
Through this integrated approach, Grown Climate Smart is building a bridge between farmers and consumer packaged goods companies, fostering a shared commitment to regenerative practices and a sustainable future.
The program is a new venture under The DeLong Co., Inc. that is funded through a Climate-Smart Commodities grant awarded by the USDA. The DeLong Co., Inc. is a 100+ year-old agricultural commodities business that is the #1 U.S. exporter of containerized agricultural products.
Pioneering Conservation Practices
The program aims to incentivize farmers to adopt or maintain regenerative practices in four main areas: cover crops, reduced or no-till, nutrient management, and windbreaks. By enrolling in the Grown Climate Smart program, farmers enroll their acres in at least one of these four practices for the current crop year. In return, they are incentivized with per-acre payments for each practice they implement on acres that produce grain.
Cover crops are strategically planted to cover the soil during periods of fallow. These crops prevent erosion, improve soil structure, and enhance nutrient cycling, leading to improved soil health and increased carbon sequestration.
Reduced or No Till:
Grown Climate Smart promotes farming that reduces soil disturbance, preserving its organic matter and reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Minimizing or eliminating tillage enhances water infiltration and reduces erosion, contributing to the overall sustainability of farming operations.
Nutrient Management Plans:
Effective nutrient management is essential for optimizing crop growth while minimizing nutrient runoff. Grown Climate Smart is able to provide farmers with the tools and knowledge to develop customized nutrient management plans that reduce environmental impact and enhance farm productivity.
Windbreaks are a useful tool to mitigate soil erosion and protect crops from wind damage. By promoting the establishment or renovation of windbreaks, the program helps farmers create resilient farming systems while enhancing biodiversity.
Grown Climate Smart is projected to capture over 100,000+ tonnes of carbon in 2023 alone. By empowering farmers to adopt sustainable practices, the brand not only supports the environment but also enhances farmer profitability and resilience. Research has shown that sustainable farming practices, such as those advocated by Grown Climate Smart, can lead to increased crop yields and lower costs over time, highlighting the economic viability of regenerative agriculture.
Grown Climate Smart wants to offer large consumer packaged goods companies a credible partner throughout the supply chain that can help facilitate their journey toward sustainability. The program works directly with farmers in the field to ensure the quality of grain alongside verifying conservation practice implementation. Then, Grown Climate Smart uses a mass-balance sheet approach to supply grain to its CPG partners that ultimately use it as an ingredient in an end product sold in the marketplace.
Grown Climate Smart recognizes the need for standardized definitions and practices within the realm of climate-smart commodities. By establishing clear guidelines and frameworks, the brand aims to provide a common language and understanding for producers and buyers alike. Through close collaboration and education, Grown Climate Smart empowers stakeholders with the knowledge and tools necessary to implement and promote climate-smart commodities.
Driving Change Together
By working directly with farmers in the field, Grown Climate Smart aims to provide producers with the support and incentives needed to continue or implement regenerative farming practices. In return, farmers benefit from enhanced soil health, increased crop resilience, and the potential for improved profitability.
For brands in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry, Grown Climate Smart offers a credible partner throughout the supply chain that validates their usage of climate-smart commodities. This partnership enables brands to enhance their environmental credentials, meet consumer demand for sustainable products, and contribute to the global effort in combating climate change.
Together, we can work together to create a sustainable future for generations to come.
Hi, I’m Dylan Vaca 👋, Brand and Marketing Manager for Grown Climate Smart. With a strong focus on climate-smart agriculture, I am dedicated to enhancing productivity, food security, and environmental sustainability. My expertise in brand management and marketing contributes to the mission of scaling markets for regenerative farmers.
Editor's Note: The views expressed in this article are the author's alone and do not necessarily represent those of the ReGen Brands platform or team.