Studies have shown that climate change is making Vermont warmer and wetter, which environmental groups claim is making the state more polluted.
In a letter to Anson Tebbetts, secretary of the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, the groups said they want farmers to reduce runoff into local waters.
“How soils are managed on the farm is really key,” Jon Groveman, policy and water program director for the Vermont Natural Resources Council said. “There are already requirements for fertilizing the farm field and analysis of soil type and that includes the rain conditions in an area. We think those need to be significantly updated.”
Meanwhile, farmers say they are doing all they can to account for climate change and to meet the standards.
“It’s frustrating that the environmental groups and these three in particular are unable to accept the progress that has been demonstrated,” said John Roberts, executive director of the Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition, who has been a farmer for over 40 years. “Over the last few years, farmers have achieved 96% of the phosphorous reduction to Lake Champlain.”
Roberts said it takes time to change the environment. He’d like the state to take into account the importance of agriculture to the state, not just for the economy, but for climate change.
“It is apparent that agriculture can have a significant benefit reducing climate impact,” Roberts said.
Despite the concerns over agricultural regulations, Roberts hopes that everyone can work together to combat climate change.