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Carbon credits contract signup coming up

August 15 is the deadline for farm operators with no-till or strip-till cropping practices or new grass plantings to sign up to sell carbon credits and still take advantage of a bonus provision that includes credit for 2007 practices.

Completed contracts must be postmarked by the mid-August date to qualify, according to Chad Martin, Soils Specialist with AgraGate Climate Credits Corp. The 2008-2012 contract is for cropland farmed with continuous no-tillage or strip-tillage, or with grass plantings made since January 1, 1999. The contract also has a bonus clause for operators who used the conservation tillage practices in 2007. Blank contracts are available on the AgraGate Web site.

"The contract includes an option for an additional year of credit for cropland that was no-tilled or strip-tilled in 2007," Martin says. "If the tillage practices qualify and can be verified the operator could earn credit for last year’s action. However, that option is gone after the deadline and the contract rolls over to a 2009-2013 term with possible 2008 credit."

AgraGate collects carbon credits from farmers, ranchers and private forest owners, assembles the credits into large bundles, and then sells them on the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX). CCX emitting members have made a voluntary -- but legally binding -- commitment to meet annual greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.

Those who reduce emissions below the targets have surplus allowances to sell or bank; those who emit above the targets can comply, in part, by purchasing credits from sources such as AgraGate. Greenhouse gas emitters can use offsets for no more than 50% of their emission reduction goals.

August 15 is the deadline for farm operators with no-till or strip-till cropping practices or new grass plantings to sign up to sell carbon credits and still take advantage of a bonus provision that includes credit for 2007 practices.

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