CHICAGO — ADM covered plans and progress in North America and other continents  in its inaugural annual regenerative agriculture report Nov. 29.

“We’re scaling up our efforts to enhance the sustainability and reduce the carbon footprint of the value chains in which we operate, and one of the critical pillars of that bold agenda is our leadership in supporting the global expansion of regenerative agriculture practices,” said Greg Morris, senior vice president and president, Ag Services & Oilseeds for Chicago-based ADM. “Our value chain stretches from hundreds of thousands of farmers, to our own unparalleled operational footprint spanning six continents, to our relationships with customers spanning food, feed, fuel, industrial and consumer products.”

ADM defines regenerative agriculture as practices based on Indigenous ways of land management that are adaptive to local physical conditions and culture. The company’s five principles of regenerative agriculture are minimizing soil disturbance, maintaining living roots in the soil, continuously covering bare soil, maximizing diversity by emphasizing crops, soil microbes and pollinators, and responsibly managing inputs such as nutrients and pesticides.

ADM’s goal is to have 4 million acres enrolled in its regenerative agriculture program by 2025. The figure was approaching 2 million at the beginning of November of this year. ADM also sequestered 115,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide and reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 253,000 tonnes in 2022.

In North America, re:generations is an agriculture program primarily focusing on carbon reductions and removals to support ADM’s Strive 35 goal of reducing Scope 3 emissions from a 2021 baseline by 25% by 2035. The company is giving financial incentives of up to $25 per acre for participating farmers. Re:generations involves practices such as cover crops, double cropping in wheat rotations and no-till/ strip till.

In Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), ADM is working with wheat, canola and soy growers in Poland and Serbia as well as wheat, barley and canola growers in the United Kingdom. Efforts in EMEA center around areas such as cover cropping, use of organic manure and crop rotation, and integrating livestock where applicable.

In South America, ADM launched a two-year, 20,000-hectare pilot program engaging soy growers in the states of Minas Gerais and Moto Grosso do Sul in the Brazilian Cerrado. The program initially will focus on efficient fertilizer use and increased use of biological inputs, no-till farming, and covered soil/cover crops. In Argentina, ADM is launching programs with peanut growers.

In India, ADM is working with over 25,500 soybean farmers covering almost 90,000 acres. Efforts include human rights and responsible labor policies, no use of genetically modified organisms, and water management.  

“Our research shows that almost two-thirds of consumers say they would be more interested in purchasing from companies taking part in regenerative agriculture partnerships, and almost three-quarters say they’re more likely to trust companies and brands that implement regen ag programs,” Morris said.

Read more about sustainability efforts across the pet food and treat industry.