AFBF says proposed SEC rule has unforeseen consequences for agriculture


AFBF says proposed SEC rule has unforeseen consequences for agriculture

The American Farm Bureau Federation says a proposed rule that would require some companies to report climate-related emissions is nearly impossible for farmers to comply with.

Senior Director of Government Affairs Andrew Walmsley says the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) is creating more questions than answers. “How as a farmer do I report this information? Where do I go to get this information?  We’re not a power plant that utilizes the same material and the same amount of resources on a regular basis. We make planting decisions each year.  We grow different crops depending on environmental conditions on how many inputs we need.”

The Enhancement and Standardization of Climate Related Disclosures for Investors would ask companies to report on Scope 3 emissions, which are the result of activities from assets not owned or controlled by a publicly traded company but contribute to the value chain.

He tells Brownfield producers who grow or raise products for the value chain would be subject to tracking and reporting their emissions. “The rule doesn’t directly regulate farmers and ranchers. But, because of that reporting requirement, we think these companies are going to have to get pretty intrusive and start asking for more detail information from farmers.”

The comment deadline for the rule closed on Friday and Walmsley says AFBF’s statement to the SEC reinforced climate-smart practices in agriculture. “We continue to see a per-unit reduction in emissions across all commodities.  You look at our beef emissions they are down almost 10 percent per unit over the last 30 years. Pork production is down over 20 percent and dairy is down almost 25 percent.”

The comments that were field on behalf of ABFB and 10 other ag organizations include: removing the “value chain” concept, eliminating or changing the Scope 3 disclosure for agriculture, include provisions protecting private information and others.

Andrew Walmsley, senior director of government affairs with AFBF: