Blog > January 2021 > Carbon as a Commodity

Carbon as a Commodity

January 28, 2021

Aaron Sindelar, Ph.D., Conservation Agronomist
Balancing conservation with profitability can be hard. Trying new ideas when your current practices are producing yields that meet your expectations can be even more challenging. As an agronomist, my objective is to help you generate more revenue on every acre in your operation. When we think about how to do this, we automatically look at the common decisions: hybrid or variety selection, nutrient management choices, or weed or pest control, to name a few. Regardless of what the choices look like, the objective is trying to generate more of a commodity, grain in this case.

Consumer demand is often the sparkplug for changes in agriculture. We’ve mainly experienced this with livestock, but another example is in row crop agriculture with pesticide usage. The new demand is sustainably-produced products. For example, consumers are now becoming tuned-in to the environmental footprint, specifically greenhouse gas emissions, of their food and products. Many companies, ranging from food services to retail to technology, have made public announcements to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, or even potentially become net-zero. Some food companies and restaurant chains plan to publish the greenhouse gas footprint information on their products.

You’re probably wondering about how this impacts you? Agriculture is being viewed as the solution to offsetting greenhouse gas emissions. Even through the best estimates, these companies striving to become carbon-neutral will need to purchase carbon credits to achieve this goal. These carbon credits can be generated by adopting conservation practices that you may already be considering adopting anyway.

Scientifically, carbon trading revolves around the concept of capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and converting it to an organic carbon form in the soil. This exact process happens during photosynthesis, which is the backbone for plant growth and, ultimately, grain production. Conservation tillage, specifically no-till and strip-tillage, and cover crop are the two primary conservation practices that have the greatest potential to capture carbon. That carbon is then measured and sold to a prospective buyer, which can be used as an offset credit for their own greenhouse gas production.

The science is clear that adopting practices like no-till, strip-tillage, or cover crops can increase soil organic matter, and there is a strong correlation between soil organic matter and yield potential. Specifically, improving soil organic matter also results in faster water infiltration, better soil tilth, and improved nutrient cycling, to name a few. The combination of these benefits with the opportunity to get paid for the carbon you capture creates a unique opportunity that we rarely see.

Carbon markets and trading is a concept that can be hard to understand. We understand that. CVA Elite Carbon is designed to help you navigate this process. This is an all-inclusive program that directly links you to the buyer, removing the necessity of selling the carbon on an open market, like we do for other commodities. The mission of CVA Elite Carbon is to make the sale of carbon credits as seamless as possible for you. The program manages all administrative aspects, meaning no huge time commitment is required from you. The program also handles all technical parts, meaning that you do not need to be a soil scientist to be successful. Above all, CVA Elite Carbon prioritizes your success and provides opportunities to sell carbon credits to reputable buyers, while culling any programs that are not advantageous to you.

CVA Elite Carbon provides an innovative opportunity to generate additional income within your operation. Reach out to your Field Sales Agronomist to further explore how this program can help your operation.
Posted: 1/28/2021 3:17:09 PM by Kelli Reznicek | with 0 comments

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