Carbon Market Experts Talk Additionality Premiums

January 28, 2022 By Will Robinson with Brownfield Ag News

A pair of carbon market experts say farmers and ranchers should look to capitalize on green practices before implementing them.

Agoro Carbon Alliance Regional Manager Todd Carlton tells Brownfield ag producers should take their time when looking at carbon programs, but do it before making changes to farming practices, stressing the value of additionality.

“Especially on the crop side of things, doing some of these practices might disqualify you,” Carlton said. “So, if you’re in a transition period – say adding cover crops or reducing tillage – waiting (to join a program), actually, could cost you money.”

But Agoro agronomist Clay Craighton tells Brownfield growers shouldn’t self-disqualify.

“Some growers will be like ‘oh, ok, well I’ve been no-tilling for years and I do cover crops already’, the self-disqualification,” Craighton said. “If you’ve been doing rye for years but then you want to include a legume species to switch your variety up, you would actually qualify.”

And he says growers already doing reduced till can qualify for premiums by further reducing soil disturbance.

Carlton says Agoro’s agronomy programs have a local focus, leaving decisions up to the farmer on the best additional practices, like…

“Fertility additions to your pasture,” he said. “Most pasture has never been fertilized and is untreated so just a little bit of fertilizer, again that rate and product is up to you, but the addition of that has a big impact above and below ground for biomass.  

Craighton, who covers Missouri, Iowa and Minnesota, tells Brownfield Agoro is looking to add more programs to benefit livestock producers who are looking to reduce emissions.

“Whether that’s a feed additive or a manure pit additive, or what have you, to reduce the methane or reduce your ammonia, you’ll get a greenhouse gas reduction credit,” he said. “That’s the one I’m really trying to push on so I can help growers in my area, primarily.”
 
Brownfield interviewed Carlton and Craighton earlier this month at the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association’s Annual Meeting.  Listen here for the full interview.

Published on: January 31, 2022