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Cap-and-trade — Breimyer Seminar

The impact of greenhouse gas regulation on agriculture is the focus of the 2010 Breimyer Seminar on May 27.

Titled “Greenhouse Gas Regulation: Boom or Bust for Agriculture?” the seminar will be held on the University of Missouri’s campus in Columbia.

“‘Cap-and-trade,’ the common name for the legislation to control greenhouse gas, may have a big impact on farming,” said Ron Plain, MU Extension economist and seminar organizer. “Farms can be a source and a potential sink for greenhouse gases.”

The House of Representatives has passed a bill containing major regulations of greenhouse gases. However, the Senate has not acted on its bill. If Congress does not act, the Environmental Protection Agency is poised to implement restrictions.

“This adds urgency to the debate,” Plain said.

The program in the Reynolds Alumni Center opens with an “Overview of Greenhouse Gas Issues in Agriculture” by Ray Massey, Extension economist with the MU Commercial Agriculture Program. He will be followed by Seth Meyer, research assistant professor at the MU Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute. Meyer will present the FAPRI bio-energy baseline.

After lunch, David Miller, director of research at the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, will explain “Ag Carbon Credits: The AgraGate Experience and Lessons Learned.”

Pat Westhoff, co-director of MU FAPRI, will update the legislative options being debated in Congress. Westhoff has analyzed options for congressional committees.

Plain wraps up the program with “Pros and Cons of Accounting for Indirect Land Use Change.”

“Agriculture produces about 8 percent of the U.S. greenhouse gases. Half of that comes from soil management and half from livestock,” Plain said. “Growing plants sequester carbon dioxide, one of the greenhouse gases. This may offer farmers an opportunity for payments.”

The $30 seminar fee includes lunch and parking. Details and registration are available from Joyce White at or (573) 882-6533. Pre-registration deadline is May 20.

The Breimyer Seminar, an MU tradition in policy analysis, provides a forum for discussion of vital issues. The series was founded by Harold Breimyer, professor of agricultural economics. He served in the U.S. Department of Agriculture during the New Deal before teaching at the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. He left an endowment for the annual seminars.

The program has time scheduled for attendees to ask questions and offer ideas.

TAGS: Legislative
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