In Washington, American Farmland Trust (AFT) has released a comprehensive study analyzing the effects of climate change legislation on the agricultural economies of Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico. Preliminary findings suggest the possibility for increases in state-level, net farm income of 1.2% in Arizona, 2.9% in Colorado and 4.1 % in New Mexico in 2020, based on expected patterns of cost and price changes.
“Overall, the research suggests that while the legislation would challenge the agriculture sector in these states, there are improved revenues from higher crop prices, new bio-fuel markets, carbon-sequestration and offsets,” says Dr. Brian Hurd, New Mexico State University, and co- author of the study. Key findings include: Energy costs are expected to rise by as little as 4% or as much as 13% by 2020 while fertilizer cost increases range only between 0.3% and 2% because of rebates to manufacturers of Energy Intensive Trade Exposed Entities (EITEs) and projected decreases in natural gas prices. Improved revenues are expected from higher crop prices, new bio-fuel crop markets and opportunities to sequester carbon and gain offset revenue.
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