Gradable Carbon program gives growers control of credits
Farmers who choose to use the Gradable Carbon carbon storage platform will have freedom and flexibility over when and where carbon credits are stored.
Gradable Carbon – a part of Farmers Business Network (FBN) – was launched Feb. 22.
“We believe the best way to create meaningful, long-term change is to provide farmers with the choice and power to participate in the carbon market on their own terms,” Gradable president and chief executive Devin Lammers said in a press release. “Gradable Carbon creates a win-win proposition that incentivizes farmers while giving them more control over their carbon credits, enabling them to take advantage of the many new opportunities that reward regenerative practices.”
By participating in Gradable Carbon, farmers are not locked into a single carbon offset market, Lammers says. The company will generate carbon credits on behalf of farmers, and farmers can choose to either sell those credits, or bank them for selling later, betting on the possibility that prices paid for carbon offsets will increase over time, Lammers says.
“We need to find a way for farmers to adopt any program that gives them upside,” Lammers told Successful Farming magazine in an interview. “If you believe there is upside on the carbon markets as the markets change, you will benefit from price appreciation over time.”
Furthermore, Gradable allows growers to layer applicable programs. For instance, some carbon programs only pay for carbon sequestration. Others focus on reducing emissions. “It is conceivable that farmers could participate and sell credits for carbon sequestration and also develop premiums for reducing nitrogen application, for example,” he adds.
Farmers generate offset credits through practices like cover cropping, conservation tillage, and nitrogen management. These practices can also reduce scope 3 emissions, as insets, which directly reduce the footprint of a buyer. With insets, environmental characteristics of grain flow directly down the supply chain to end users of agricultural products, including food companies and biofuel producers.
If a Gradable user learns of another carbon program that is more suited for his or her operation, the user can leave Gradable to enroll in that other program, he adds.
Betting on the future
Farmers who participate in Gradable will receive at least $10 per ton of carbon stored. “That’s the minimum. We expect this price will escalate,” Lammers says.
Gradable will offer agronomy support to farmers looking to adopt regenerative practices. Known as Gradable Plan, this offering will provide agronomy support to ensure growers maximize their operation’s return on investment. This offering is a multi-year, per-acre service that includes soil sampling and custom crop nutrition recommendations.
“Those agronomic decisions are optimized for growers,” Lammers explains. “Let’s say a farmer adopts no-till and cover crops. Some aspects of the grower’s nutrition program will change. We will help the grower make those changes to maximize profitability.”
Growers who use Gradable Plan will be charged for services such as soil sampling, plant nutrition recommendations, and other agronomic advice, but will still receive the $10 per ton in carbon storage. Gradable Plan will help farmers maximize profit per acre through yield and carbon, Lammers says.
Gradable is partnering with major grain aggregators and processors such as Landus Cooperative and POET, LLC, to collect broad farmer feedback on existing programs and develop downstream markets that reward sustainable agricultural practices that make sense for farmers and agribusinesses.
“Carbon credits have the potential to jumpstart a market for farm-generated environmental services and help lay the foundation for large long-term investments in a more sustainable agriculture supply chain,” says Matt Carsten, CEO of Landus Cooperative. “We want to be able to be able to prepare our farmers and give them access to these opportunities as they develop.”
Gradable’s technology-forward solutions will help farmers understand where their farm sits today with carbon storage, and how to effectively improve farm sustainability outcomes.
“In addition to developing efficient and credible programs, our job is to help farmers maximize ROI as complex environmental payments are introduced to ag markets,” says Steele Lorenz, head of sustainability at Gradable. “Gradable will be there with modern, data-driven analytics to help farmers successfully balance sustainability and profitability goals.”
Farmers and grain buyers interested in participating in the new Gradable Carbon program can visit gradable.com to sign up for more information.