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Truterra announces two-pronged approach for 2022 carbon program

Truterra’s 2021 carbon program paid $4 million to farmers for carbon stored in 2021.

Truterra, LLC, the sustainability business of Land O’Lakes, Inc., is launching its 2022 carbon program. This follows its 2021 program that made more than $4 million in cash payments upfront to participating farmers, who sequestered over 200,000 metric tons of carbon. 

Company officials say the 2021 carbon offering – designed to be the most farmer-favorable contract on the market that generates high-quality, verified carbon assets – delivered an average payment per participating farmer of $20,000. Some payments tallied more than $100,000, say company officials.

The Truterra carbon program  is rooted in the Land O’Lakes cooperative network, which touches about 50% of all U.S. harvested acres, say company officials. In partnership with Land O’Lakes network of agricultural retailer owners, Truterra focuses on delivering the highest quality field-level data, supporting science-based measurement and verification, and advancing industry-leading transparency, they add. The Truterra carbon program works through the agricultural retailer network of agronomy advisers to connect farmers to carbon market opportunities, say company officials. This results in both better agronomic insights to help farmers continuously improve their operations, and enhanced carbon product credibility for buyers, they add.

“It is critical for us to co-invest with our ag retailer partners along with farmers to support regenerative systems that will help farms become more resilient and derive the most value from every acre,” said Jason Weller, president of Truterra, in a news release. “We have seen strong interest from farmers. They see the Truterra carbon program as not only a new revenue stream for their operations, but also an incentive to continue innovating and adopting new practices which help mitigate the damaging and costly impacts of a changing climate on both their operations and our nation’s food supply.”

Two Approaches for 2022

In 2022, Truterra will offer two approaches to encourage climate-smart practices and carbon storage in agricultural soils. The first is its 2022 carbon program, which is structured similarly to the Truterra 2021 carbon program. It focuses on generating carbon assets in partnership with farmers who have recently adopted soil health management practices that store additional carbon in their soils.

The second approach is designed as an on-ramp for farmers who are just getting started with climate-smart practices and are exploring options and seeking support to adopt soil health systems.

Farmers participating in the 2022 carbon program may be eligible for a one-time, upfront payment of $20 per ton of carbon based on recently adopted changes in soil health practices. This includes significant reduction in tillage and the addition of cover crops. Eligible cropping systems include corn, soybean, wheat, or cotton as part of farmers’ crop rotations.

Truterra is also launching an approach for farmers in 2022 who implement climate-smart practices for the first time and are interested in potentially participating in future carbon markets. Truterra’s carbon market access program will engage and support farmers through the process of implementing new practices. Participating farmers may be eligible to receive one-time payments of up to $2 per acre for enrolling in the carbon market access program. Truterra will be developing and testing a suite of support services designed to streamline and facilitate conservation practice finance access, agronomic assistance, and data management.

Under this approach, farmers will maintain ownership and options with their carbon rights in current and future years. They are not required to make a long-term commitment to maintain the practice changes if they are not the right fit for their operations, say company officials.

The program is all about helping farmers make the best decisions and supporting their adoption of soil health systems on their crop fields while also preparing their operations to potentially participate in carbon markets in the future, they add. Importantly, at the end of crop year 2022 farmers may be eligible to receive an offer from Truterra for future carbon sequestration purchase offers in 2023 and beyond.

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