Chasing Carbon Credits
Tanner and David start off by reflecting on the TBF Fundraising auction/meeting and how networking is essential to being a successful farmer. They are then joined by Ben Gordon the Carbon and Ecosystem Service Portfolio leader at Corteva. We explore the current status of carbon credits and learn where they might be headed. Listen in to learn more!
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What’s Working in AG – Why Networking Works
- Podcast hosts doing some Post TBF auction and celebration reflection.
- The first 5 are the obvious corporate answers
- Raise your profile
- Advance your career
- Get an answer to every question
- The next 2 are usually side benefits if the first three
- Get access to job opportunities
- Strengthen business connections
- The last 5 I think are the most important (witnessed all of these)
- Gain more knowledge
- Get fresh ideas
- Get career advice and support
- Gain a different perspective
- Build confidence
- Develop long-lasting personal relationships
General Topic – Carbon Credits
- Ben Gordon -- Intro -- Carbon and Ecosystem Service Portfolio leader at Corteva. Ben has been with Granular for nearly three years after a career in management consulting, technology, and the military. He grew up in North Dakota surrounded by agriculture and today is with us to talk about carbon credits.
Buzz words for sure flying all over Ag Twitter and FarmTok. Carbon Credits – the modern day gold rush. US farmers can now get paid for removing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere by storing it in their soil.
- What does this mean?
- Is this a new thing?
- Why is this a buzz word or topic now?
- Is the carbon being captured physically measurable or is it assumed?
What’s in it for me, the farmer?
- How much are we talking? – per acre/ per year
- How do we know we aren’t getting ripped off?
How does my farm qualify?
- Cover crops, tillage practices, crop diversity, organics, manure -- Does one practice earn me more money than another?
- Any rule of thumb on dollars per acre per practice?
- What about pasture ground grazed by livestock?
- Can we still sequester carbon with the use of synthetic “N”?
Why is it only farms that have changed a practice that qualify?
- Why won’t the farmer who has been using cover crops or no-till farming qualify even if they have done it for years?
- Are there costs to qualifying?
What do we need to prove this?
- Historical records?
- What happens if something changes? Who audits this?
- What if I install tile, does that tile plow count as tillage? Does this cause a problem?
- Can we carry forward unsold carbon credits to the next year?
- Could the weather change the way carbon is sequestered and possibly alter a contract?
Do you think this is going to take off?
- Is the juice worth the squeeze for the time involved? When prices were low maybe, but now they are higher?
- Do we have any clarity on how carbon credit programs might fit in with other state-level carbon programs such as “low carbon value added products” like biofuel
Do you see us being able to stack multiple outcome payments?
- i.e. Carbon + Water Quality
Who are the major players buying these carbon credits?
- What is their advantage to buying carbon credits? Reputation, financial, tax?
Is this like a cable TV contract that I can’t get out of?
- How long is the contract for?
- What if my practices change each year?
- Is this just a “conspiracy” plan to try and get farmers to adjust their practices?
o Burger King only wanting lemon grass fed cattle
o Chipotle cage free chickens
o Future companies only wanting from farmers in this program?
Since this sounds like a lot of work, are there any solutions that make this simple for our listeners?
- Nori operates a marketplace where CO2 in soil is calculated, verified, and carbon credits are issued for sale. The carbon credits are purchased by businesses and individuals that want to pay for the removal of the CO2 they emit into the atmosphere. Granular provides easy access to the Nori marketplace by collecting and storing the data required to participate.
How do you know which program to trust?
- Granular has the data management program to help you keep good organized records
What are the risks?
- Can I get sued if something is wrong?
Is there a cost to the farmer to work with Granular?
- How do we keep large retailers from getting their “piece” of the pie?
- Include contact option of firstname.lastname@example.org
- Granular is a Proud Partner of Farm4Profit
- Submit questions and topic suggestions
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o Be sure to check out the fundraising auction for Travis Burkhart Foundation