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Farm groups want more time to review proposed SEC rule

Farm groups want more time to review proposed SEC rule

The proposed rule would require companies to report supply chain emissions

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

More than 100 farm groups are asking the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for more time to review one of its proposed rules.

The SEC’s proposal, The Enhancement and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors, would require companies to document how they identify and manage climate risks, and how those issues affect companies.

And the companies would have to report how they’re meeting climate goals.

The SEC has provided 39 days to review the document, but farm groups say it’s not enough time.

The groups “respectfully request a 180-day extension, from May 20, 2022, until November 16, 2022, for filing of comments,” an April 26 letter says.

The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), American Soybean Association, Association of Equipment Manufacturers and the National Corn Growers Association are among the letter’s signatories.

One area of concern for the organizations is how this rule could affect farmers.

U.S. farmers do business with companies who report to the SEC.

Allowing this rule to pass could make producing food more challenging.

“Nearly every farmer and rancher in this country probably has their product end up at the end of the day to a company that’s regulated by the SEC. Well, what are those requirements going to be pushed back on to the farmers to report?” said Andrew Walmsley, senior director of government affairs with the AFBF.

The proposal is split into three “Scopes.”

Scopes 1 and 2 would include reporting emissions directly from company operations. Scope 3 includes emissions from customers and other supply chains.

Farmers may fit into the Scope 3 category, which could have negative effects on a producer’s operation.

Greenhouse gas emissions in Scope 3 “not only directly effects our members’ operations, but in doing so may create multiple, new sources of substantial costs and liabilities,” the farm groups wrote, adding the rule would “have meaningful consequences for our members’ ability to produce this country’s food, fuel and fiber as well as for the security and stability of U.S. agricultural supply chains.”

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