NATIONAL (WCIA) — With the political emphasis on reducing greenhouse gases and carbon neutrality, farmers are finding themselves as the solution to significant problems.
As the 2021 cropping season ramps up, many farmers may be invited to sell their carbon credits. Companies such as Indigo are lining up buyers and sellers, says Indigo’s Chris Harbourt.
“The carbon program is really an opportunity for a new crop, if you think about it, we’re calling it the carbon crop. Its an opportunity for new sources of revenue to come to agriculture,” said Harbourt. “Companies that are not interested in buying the traditional grain crop are interested in buying carbon credits and producing carbon credits in partnership with farmers.”
Indigo is an intermediary in the process. But Harbourt says if corporate America wants to pay a farmer to offset its carbon use via energy consumption, it wants assurance the farmer is sequestering carbon.
“Credits have to be real. You don’t actually deliver carbon like you do grain on a farm. You don’t actually deliver the carbon, you leave it in the ground. So everyone has to agree that you have done the work correctly and appropriately, so that realness means I need you to document what’s happened on the farm. So we need records of what you’ve planted, what’s gone on. So that’s the first part, realness,” said Harbourt. “The second part is a concept called additionality, which means you have to do something new on the ground that year. Then there’s permanence, which means it has to stick around, it has to be a credit in order for it to actually make an impact on the atmosphere. It has to stick around and be something the farmer sticks with and does for the next several years. And the last one is leakage, meaning that you can’t stop producing on a piece of ground, we need you to keep the yields where they were, otherwise another part of the glob e may have to produce that crop as you take something out of production.”