Despite publicity about carbon sequestration as a potential source of revenue, only a handful of America's largest farmers and ranchers are pursuing carbon contracts, said Purdue University on Tuesday. Less than 1 percent of large-scale operators polled for the monthly Ag Economy Barometer said they had discussed carbon contracts with any company, compared to 2 percent in Purdue surveys earlier this year.
A new Senate bill would offer up to $150 million in loan guarantees to companies and nonprofit groups that help small and family-size foresters adopt climate-smart practices and sell carbon credits.
A small fraction of U.S. farmers who have pursued contracts for capturing carbon in the soil – an incentive for climate mitigation – say the going rate is $20 an acre or less, said Purdue University on Tuesday. Companies that sell carbon credits to companies trying to offset their greenhouse gas emissions say the market is still in its infancy and prices will become more robust as demand rises.
The government should use USDA conservation programs as the starting point for climate mitigation on the farm and "tread lightly" with unproven ideas like a carbon bank, said the senior Republican on the Senate Agriculture Committee on Tuesday. Arkansas Sen. John Boozman cautioned that climate-smart practices may be too expensive for some producers to adopt.
The USDA has the authority to create a so-called carbon bank to encourage climate mitigation on the farm, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Monday, but he is waiting for farmers’ ideas on how the bank should operate. Speaking at a farm conference, Vilsack said he was open to an increase …
Truterra, a subsidiary of farmer-owned Land O'Lakes, launched a carbon credit program on Thursday in which Microsoft, its first buyer, will pay $20 per ton for carbon sequestered in the soil. The program "will help farmers generate and sell carbon credits to private sector buyers," said the company.
Tom Vilsack, nominated for agriculture secretary in the Biden administration, said he will rapidly ramp up USDA programs to combat climate change and that he believes farmers will be enthusiastic at the opportunity to make money by sequestering carbon in the soil. “Agriculture writ large is …
The government would create a range of tax credits to encourage carbon sequestration in the soil and forests, deploy “digesters” nationwide to convert manure into energy, and work more aggressively to reduce food waste if it follows the recommendations of farm, conservation and food retail …
Landowners will gain a chance to be paid for wetlands preservation under a USDA project to create at least nine wetland mitigation banks, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. USDA will put $9 million into the project to help states, local governments and other sponsors set up wetland mitigation banks to restore, create or enhance wetlands. The banks would compensate farmers for conservation projects that offset losses of wetlands on other farms. The federal government has a goal of no net loss of wetlands.
Up to $20 million is available in grants to "facilitate the creation of new, innovative markets for carbon credits," USDA announced. It says carbon markets provide additional revenue sources for producers who practice soil and water conservation.