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Big farmers aren’t warming to carbon capture contracts – survey

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% of large-scale operators polled for the monthly Ag Economy Barometer said they had discussed carbon contracts with any company, compared to 2% in Purdue surveys earlier this year.

“It appears that despite a rise in interest and publicity, awareness of carbon capture opportunities by producers on their farms has not increased,” wrote economists James Mintert and Michael Langemeier, who oversee the barometer. Nearly three out of every 10 farmers said they were “aware of any opportunities to receive payments for capturing carbon on your farm.”

In the opening months of this year, around one-third of farmers, reaching a high of 46% in April, said they were aware of opportunities to be paid for carbon capture.

“Among the very small number of producers who had discussed payments with companies, the most common payment offered was less than $10 per tonne of carbon followed by payment rates of $10 to less than $20 per tonne,” said Purdue.

Purdue contacted 400 producers by telephone from Oct. 18-22 for the new report. The barometer focuses on operators with more than $500,000 a year in crop and livestock production, the top tier of producers.

Some 44% said their biggest concern for 2022 was higher input costs. Slightly more than half of respondents said they expected input costs to rise by more than 8% over the next 12 months.

Produced with FERN, non-profit reporting on food, agriculture, and environmental health.

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