Farm Progress

2 carbon credit programs announce upgrades

Indigo Ag and Nori, partnering with Bayer, announce changes, including faster input time and expanded programs.

Tom J. Bechman, Midwest Crops Editor

June 11, 2024

3 Min Read
A no-till field with corn plants
CARBON CREDITS: Switching to no-till and cover crops could help you qualify for programs that pay for sequestering carbon. Tom J. Bechman

Are you sequestering carbon based on recent changes in your farming methods? If so, news from major players in the carbon marketplace deserve your attention.

Both Indigo Ag and Nori made news recently. Indigo Ag is offering a more robust program, which it bills as much easier to use. Meanwhile, Nori and Bayer announced a partnership between Nori and the Bayer Carbon Program.

Here is a closer look at these changes:

Indigo Ag

“There are three primary updates to our program we want farmers to understand,” says Dan Mongeau, vice president of sustainability for Indigo Ag. “The program should be more profitable for farmers going forward because carbon credits are trading higher. Second, we’ve been able to greatly reduce the data input time. Finally, the program is now available across the U.S., on 18 crops plus alfalfa.”

Carbon credit prices have increased as much as $20 to $40 per credit, trading as high as $80 per credit, Mongeau says. Through Indigo’s program, 75% of the weighted price of the carbon credit crop goes back to the farmer.

Growers also will benefit because Indigo Ag has tweaked its model to allow for more carbon sequestration credit for numerous practices.

“We were conservative at first and held back in our models that indicate how many credits accumulate,” says Dean Banks, Indigo Ag CEO. “Now that our credits have been verified by the proper agencies, we are confident in increasing carbon credits accumulating under various practices.”

Related:Farmers: How to actually get paid for carbon

Couple the chance for more profitability with an 80% decrease in the time it takes to submit data, and Banks believes the upgraded program is a big win for growers. In some cases, growers can now submit all necessary information in as little as 30 minutes, he notes.

One drawback to carbon programs is the perceived inability of someone already doing multiple conservation farming practices to participate.

“We want growers already doing these things to talk to us,” Mongeau says. “The concept of additionality still applies — you must do something new to earn credit. However, many times they can still qualify, maybe by adding a new cover crop species or seeding at a different time. There is also a 12-month lookback whereby any new practice within the past 12 months qualifies.”

Additionally, growers already doing conservation practices are prime candidates for Scope 3 opportunities. These involve payments from other companies looking to participate in regenerative agriculture.

Nori and Bayer Carbon

Nori, founded in 2017, is in the carbon removal business. Its mission is to scale carbon removal with increased transparency, trust and impact. Recently, Nori announced issuance of over 125,000 regenerative tons of carbon from the Bayer Carbon Program in the U.S. This represents an unprecedented expansion to Nori’s carbon removal supply and adds a significant supply across the soil organic carbon industry as a whole.

These 125,000 credits resulted from adoption of regenerative ag practices on over 190,000 acres, sources say. An additional 240,000 credits are in the pipeline.

“Being able to establish relationships like this one with Nori is essential to helping turn farmers’ regenerative agriculture efforts into tangible credits that can produce monetary value to these practices and further help stand up carbon markets,” says Leo Bastos, senior vice president and head of global ecosystem services at Bayer.

About the Author(s)

Tom J. Bechman

Midwest Crops Editor, Farm Progress

Tom J. Bechman became the Midwest Crops editor at Farm Progress in 2024 after serving as editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer for 23 years. He joined Farm Progress in 1981 as a field editor, first writing stories to help farmers adjust to a difficult harvest after a tough weather year. His goal today is the same — writing stories that help farmers adjust to a changing environment in a profitable manner.

Bechman knows about Indiana agriculture because he grew up on a small dairy farm and worked with young farmers as a vocational agriculture teacher and FFA advisor before joining Farm Progress. He works closely with Purdue University specialists, Indiana Farm Bureau and commodity groups to cover cutting-edge issues affecting farmers. He specializes in writing crop stories with a focus on obtaining the highest and most economical yields possible.

Tom and his wife, Carla, have four children: Allison, Ashley, Daniel and Kayla, plus eight grandchildren. They raise produce for the food pantry and house 4-H animals for the grandkids on their small acreage near Franklin, Ind.

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