Carbon Credits and Carbon Agreements

Lately, there have been a lot of conversations in the agricultural community about carbon credit agreements and the concept of carbon farming as a way to address climate change and store carbon in the soil.

This page provides key educator resources on carbon credits and carbon agreements so you can be as informed as possible when advising your stakeholders.

Farmers’ Guide to Carbon Market Contracts in Minnesota Minnesota Farmers Union Farmers’ Union Publication, 2023 A  publication designed to help farmers understand carbon contracts and make an informed decision about whether to agree to a carbon contract. This document is a direct response to the questions and concerns raised by Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) members.
Should I sell Carbon Credits? A Decision Guide for Ranchers King ranch Institute for Ranch Management, Texas A&M University-Kingsville Extension Publication, August 2022 A publication describing the foundational concepts of carbon trading, key considerations for managing the development of credits, risks associated with entering a carbon credit contract, and economic and market considerations. This document aims to inform ranchers so the best decisions can be made in an emerging and uncertain enterprise.
An Introduction to Carbon Markets, Carbon Credits and Environmental Attributes University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension Extension Publication, March 2022 A publication overviewing the fundamentals of carbon and environmental, societal and governance markets, and carbon and renewable energy credits. This document also compares carbon offsets and carbon credits, and includes information on managing a farm’s carbon footprint. This document was developed with support from the Wisconsin Legislative Agricultural/Carbon/Energy/Water Initiative.
Carbon Science for Carbon Markets: Emerging Opportunities in Iowa Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Extension Publication, January 2022 This report addresses ways to further improve the credibility of agricultural carbon credits and reduce the cost of carbon programs by assessing the underlying science and adding transparency to how carbon markets function. Lisa Schulte Moore and Jim Jordahl assess the history and structure of carbon markets; carbon credit measurement, reporting, and verification protocols; the impacts of land—especially cropland—and livestock management practices on greenhouse gas and soil organic carbon dynamics, and adoption of these practices; existing and emerging engineering technologies that could reduce greenhouse gas emissions or enhance carbon removal; and quantitative tools that could help facilitate carbon market development. While the geographic scope is primarily focused on the state of Iowa, much is applicable to the Midwest at large.
How do Data and Payments Flow through Ag Carbon Programs? Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Extension Publication, November 2021 Alejandro Plastina of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach follows up his article on how to grow and sell carbon to describe how data payments and methods flow in voluntary carbon programs. This article is designed to help farmers, policy-makers and agricultural stakeholders understand who will have access to data on farm practices, who is the most likely buyer of carbon credits for each carbon program, who controls the methodology that will use used, and who issues payments to participants.
North Central Region Water Network’s The Current Webinar on Carbon Markets and Carbon Credit Agreements The North Central Region Water Network Extension Webinar, October 2021 This webinar features leading experts discussing the latest research on soil carbon sequestration and the state of the science, what producers need to know or consider before entering an agreement, and how different companies and organizations are going about verifying soil carbon sequestration and the different protocols used.
Soil Health Nexus Digital Cafe on Carbon Storage in Agricultural Fields The Soil Health Nexus Extension Webinar, October 2021 This webinar features Alexandra Kravchenko, Professor in the Department of Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences at Michigan State University. Dr. Kravchenko addresses several of the mechanisms contributing to soil C cycling, specifically focusing on the magnitudes of their contributions and on the implications for maximizing soil C storage.
Soil Carbon and Carbon Market FAQ Soil Health Nexus Frequently Asked Question Webpage, August 2021 The Soil Health Nexus complied a list of Frequently Asked Questions educators and farm advisors are hearing regarding soil carbon and carbon markets and asked experts to weigh in.
Carbon Market Webinar with Iowa State University Experts Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Recording of Extension Webinar, August 2021 Renewed interest in carbon markets and carbon credit trading is quickly finding its way to the farm. In an effort to provide updates and answer questions, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach held a public webinar in August 2021.
Guide to Carbon Market Options for Family Forest Owners American Society of Foresters Forestry Source Newsletter Article, August 2021 Briana Capra of Forest Carbon Works compares Forest Carbon Programs for family forest owners.
Ag Carbon Credits University of Nebraska-Lincoln University Webpage, April 2021 There is a lot of discussion in the ag community about ag carbon credits as part of a larger U.S. strategy to reduce carbon emissions and avoid the very worst impacts of global warming. This newsletter reviews some of the basics regarding what ag credits are and why they are a current topic of discussion.
How to Grow and Sell Carbon Credits in US Agriculture Iowa State University Extension Publication. July 2021 A report from Alejandro Plastina, Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at Iowa State University, comparing the requirements to grow and sell carbon and environmental services credits across eleven private voluntary agricultural programs in the United States. This report also discusses some of the risks from participating in voluntary carbon markets.
Opportunities And Challenges Associated With “Carbon Farming” For U.S. Row-Crop Producers Purdue University University Article and Webinar Recording, June 2021 Webinar recording and companion article from the Purdue University College of Agriculture on soil carbon sequestration opportunities and challenges for farmers.
What Questions Should Farmers Ask about Selling Carbon Credits University of Illinois University Article, April 2021 Information about carbon markets can be challenging to navigate because each company typically has a different structure for payments, verification, and data ownership. This article provides a brief background about carbon markets, information about the breakeven price for carbon sequestration practices, and some questions for farmers to consider about selling carbon credits.
Is Carbon the Crop of the Future? Texas A&M Extension Webpage, May 2021 An overview of the changes in the environment, government policy, and technology that have led to an interested interest in carbon farming and thoughts from two Texas A&M experts on the efficacy of carbon farming moving forward.
How to Approach Carbon Market Opportunities University of Minnesota Extension Webpage, April 2021 This article from Jodi DeJong-Hughes and Anna Cates with the University of Minnesota Extension discusses the importance of carbon and carbon markets, what they can offer producers in the Upper Midwest and what questions you should consider when investigating carbon credits.
Ohio State University’s Rattan Lal Center for Carbon Management and Sequestration The Ohio State University University Website The Rattan Lal Center for Carbon Management and Sequestration provides comprehensive, interdisciplinary research on terrestrial carbon management and sequestration techniques and technologies in the fields of agriculture, forestry, agroecology, water management, bioenergy crops, nutrient cycling and waste management.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Center for Agricultural Profitability Ag Carbon Resources University of Nebraska-Lincoln University Website A suite of policy and legal ag carbon resources from the Center for Agricultural Profitability at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Agricultural Soil Carbon Credits: Making sense of protocols for carbon sequestration and net greenhouse gas removals Environmental Defense Fund NGO Report A synthesis of the landscape of soil carbon and net greenhouse gas measurement, reporting and verification protocols.
Ecosystem Market Factsheet Illinois Sustainable Ag Partnership Factsheet This resource focuses on agricultural opportunities for carbon and water quality markets and compares four featured market market entities along key indicators.
A Buyer’s Guide to Soil Carbon Offsets Carbon Plan Webpage, July 2021 A review of 14 soil carbon protocols on 33 technical dimensions with a focus on protocols that were publicly available and could be used to certify or issue credits for soil carbon removal — activities that draw carbon out of the atmosphere and sequester it in soil.
Clarity on Carbon’s Potential: Compare Nine of the Leading Markets Farm Journal’s AgWeb Article, February 2021 This article explains nine of the leading markets and how they compare.