Opportunities for Florida Producers

Agoro Carbon Alliance is creating a new solution to the global carbon challenge that’s grounded in the soil. We are committed to decarbonizing farming by helping transform practices on every farm, generating reliable farm carbon credits, and creating certified climate-smart crops. Guided by transparency, security, and collaboration, we create incentives for farmers and carbon-credit buyers to choose change. With the full support of Yara International and access to its extensive resources, Agoro Carbon is positioned to provide first-class agronomic support to producers. At the same time, our carbon market experts will help navigate and streamline the complexities of a new industry. Florida’s year-round growing season and favorable climate provide a solid foundation for successful carbon sequestration projects. The diversity of crops and cropping systems provides the ability to implement a variety of practices and take full advantage of the progressive nature of Florida farmers.  Florida, often overlooked when it comes to agricultural powerhouses, is seen by Agoro Carbon as a leader in changing the national agriculture landscape. Florida has its challenges as urban sprawl raises land values, houses replace vegetables and there is no denying the struggles that have plagued the Florida citrus industry. Over the last 15 years 600,000 citrus acres lost to disease, inclement weather, and increased foreign competition. Still, Yara has been a consistent presence in Florida agriculture and Agoro Carbon Alliance’s U.S. headquarters are also in Tampa, Florida. PASTURE MANAGEMENT We recognized the integral role that grazing lands will play in reducing atmospheric carbon because of the acreage (654 million acres in the United States) and the efficacy of carbon sequestration. Below are the three examples of practices that Florida farmers and ranchers can implement into their operations? Implementing or modifying practices of Intensive Rotational grazing (IRG) or Management Intensive Grazing (MIG) Inorganic or Organic Fertilizer addition One way to promote the increase of biomass is to jump-start soil biology with added fertilizer. Minimal fertilizer is required to show significant gains in carbon capture, and it is a great practice to incorporate with IRG or MIG to create a positive feedback loop of nutrient cycling. Species Diversification Plant diversification is another accessible practice that does not require a substantial increase in labor but can have positive long-term effects on pasture performance. The idea of diversification is a pillar of regenerative techniques and can play an important role in field productivity. The recommended plant species is determined by the characteristics of the individual field, management practices, and economic feasibility. PAYMENT STRUCTURE Payments for the environmental credits are directly related to the amount of carbon captured and stored in the soil, or greenhouses gases which have been mitigated. Carbon levels during the project will be compared to the baseline levels and the financial incentive is valued on the difference. It is well understood that some practices require initial capital to implement and that the later years of the project will yield more carbon. To reduce the financial burden of the producer, we make guaranteed annual payments based on modelled projections. Agoro shoulders the risk in the beginning by paying, guaranteed annual payments that total about 50% of the modelled amount. During a typical 10-year contract, soil samples will be taken around years three, six and 10. The results of these samples will be compared to the modelled amount paid on and payments will be evened up.  We expect rangeland to very effective in sequestering carbon and therefore expect higher payments. Below is an example of a payment scheme for a 10,000-acre pasture in Highlands county implementing all three available practices. Field Information Baseline Carbon t/acre: 0.3;  Field size in acres: 10,000 ac; Incentive Amount/ acre $10.00. ADDITIONAL BENEFITS Soil Health On top of the financial incentive, storing carbon in the soil also has significant impacts on soil health, leading to better field productivity. Increasing biological activity improves nutrient cycling and crop resiliency. Soil organic matter is associated with better water infiltration, holding capacity, and reduced inputs. We expect that after three years of consistently implementing a practice change, the benefit to the soil will show value beyond the cost of transition and continue to build resilient soils. Agoro Carbon Alliance only works in sustainability. We do not sell products or charge for our agronomic advice. Our success at Agoro is truly tied to your soil improvement. Our programs are designed to adapt to the challenges faced by growers, and to the fast pace of a growing carbon market. We can create real change for Florida agriculture by accomplishing sustainability goals while creating more resilient farms. Land is valuable, investing in it means building on a solid foundation that allows agriculture and wildlife to thrive for generations.

Published on: November 23, 2021