Sustainability & Conservation

The American Soybean Association and U.S. soybean farmers are committed to efforts that support sustainability, which includes environmental, economic, and social pillars, along with conservation. ASA farmer-leaders appreciate the opportunity to be engaged in legislative, regulatory, and importantly, on-farm efforts now that will preserve the future of farming and our world at large later.

Photo Courtesy of USB

Defining Sustainable Agriculture

Sustainability policy in Washington DC is a moving target. Through executive orders, rulemaking, and legislation, ASA must be prepared to help shape and react to a variety of proposals. In 2021, ASA agreed to a set of sustainability policy principles intended to help guide our advocacy efforts. The topline principles include:

  • ASA supports policies that will maintain and improve economic sustainability of soybean farmers across its 30 soybean-producing states.
  • ASA believes that there is no “one size fits all” solution to on-farm sustainability.
  • ASA supports voluntary and incentive-based approaches and opposes sustainability programs that include mandates and penalties or that remove valuable agricultural land from production.
  • ASA acknowledges that soybean producers are already employing sustainability practices on their farms, and that policies must include both retroactive supports and prospective incentives.
  • ASA believes that farmers must have a seat at the table in climate policy discussions. To that end, as federal agencies develop new climate policies and programs, ASA supports the establishment of technical advisory committees which include agricultural producers.

ASA supports the statutory definition of sustainable agriculture included in the 1990 Farm Bill

“An integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will, over the long term, satisfy human food needs; enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agricultural economy depends; make the most efficient use of nonrenewable resources and on-farm resources and integrate where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls; sustain the economic viability of farm operations; and enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole.”