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The company has opened the program in another 15 states, including Michigan and Ohio.

Jennifer Kiel, Editor, Michigan Farmer

June 1, 2022

3 Min Read
hand holding clump of soil with roots
ENROLLMENT OPEN: Cargill’s RegenConnect program seeks growers who want to choose their own practices and enroll on a year-to-year basis. Enrollment is open through Sept. 16.Courtesy of Cargill

If you are a current or future Cargill grain customer, a new opportunity is opening in 15 states that could bring additional revenue opportunities and an incentive to invest in the resilience of your land.

It’s the next step in advancing the commitment Cargill made in 2020 — to advance regenerative agriculture practices across 10 million acres of land in North America by 2030.

When it comes to carbon programs, there’s more and more to choose from. But, in the end, they all seek to implement “new” — that word is important — practices on farmland in exchange for payment to sequester carbon.

Cargill’s RegenConnect program seeks growers who want to choose their own practices and enroll on a year-to-year basis. Enrollment is through Sept. 16, and eligible practices include cover crops, reduced tillage and no-till.

In 2022, the program has expanded to Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Kentucky, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Eligible acres must have a primary crop of corn, soy or wheat. Farmers can choose the best practices suited to their operation’s unique growing conditions. For the 2022-23 enrollment, Cargill is offering $25 per metric ton of carbon sequestered per acre.

The program features a three-step process, including:

Monitoring. This is the collection of field-level data relevant to a project’s progress and results to date.

Reporting. Field data is translated into a standardized format.

Verification. Collected data is reviewed to ensure it is complete, consistent, reliable and transparent.

Partnering with Regrow

Cargill is partnering with Regrow, which uses remote sensing and crop and soil health modeling to provide monitoring, reporting and verification of program outcomes.

Regrow provides the software that powers the RegenConnect program, as well as providing advice and guidance on good practices and agronomy for the purposes of improving the soil health resilience of farmers.

The program incorporates weather, soil management and environmental conditions that allow farmers to easily model the soil’s response to practice changes and estimate quantified carbon outcomes.

In addition, enrolled farmers can track management practices for each of their fields and crops, which can be imported from compatible farm management systems or identified with remote-sensing technology. The Regrow platform was built to ensure secure data collection and provides transparent measurement and verification options for farmers.

Payment

Now in its second year, Cargill says first-year RegenConnect enrollees are invited to reenroll the same fields and continue the conservation practices, and are eligible for carbon payments from those fields. 

Participants will receive a minimum guaranteed payment in February 2023 and the balance after verification is complete in January 2024.

Fields enrolled in the Cargill program cannot be duel-enrolled in other privately funded programs. However, this program can be stacked with public or government program payments, if eligible. 

In a study of 100 farmers across nine states conducted by The Soil Health Institute and supported by Cargill, researchers found that soil health management systems increased incomes for 85 percent of farmers growing corn and 88 percent of farmers growing soybeans.

The average income for corn growers increased by $52 per acre and $45 per acre for soybeans. Additionally, farmers reported reduced average costs to grow corn by $24 per acre and soybeans by $17 per acre.

To support farmers during the upcoming enrollment period, Cargill has expanded its team of conservation agronomists to offer technical support in successfully implementing regenerative soil health best practices. Cargill has also added support to its grain origination team to help with enrollment.

For more information about RegenConnect, visit cargillregenconnect.com.

About the Author(s)

Jennifer Kiel

Editor, Michigan Farmer

While Jennifer is not a farmer and did not grow up on a farm, "I think you'd be hard pressed to find someone with more appreciation for the people who grow our food and fiber, live the lifestyles and practice the morals that bind many farm families," she says.

Before taking over as editor of Michigan Farmer in 2003, she served three years as the manager of communications and development for the American Farmland Trust Central Great Lakes Regional Office in Michigan and as director of communications with Michigan Agri-Business Association. Previously, she was the communications manager at Michigan Farm Bureau's state headquarters. She also lists 10 years of experience at six different daily and weekly Michigan newspapers on her impressive resume.

Jennifer lives in St. Johns with her two daughters, Elizabeth, 19, and Emily 16.

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