Q/A with an expert: What’s new about carbon programs today?

Carbon markets have quickly evolved, but this observer believes it is still a ‘Wild West’ – so proceed with caution.

Tom J. Bechman, Midwest Crops Editor

June 5, 2024

4 Min Read
Meteorologist Hans Schmitz gives a talk in a field
WILD WEST: Carbon market programs are “still very much the Wild West, but there’s some outside chatter of a new sheriff coming to town,” says Purdue University meteorologist Hans Schmitz.Purdue Extension

Meteorologist Hans Schmitz cautioned growers about vetting carbon market contracts carefully before signing on the dotted line in a past article. There are more answers today than there were two years ago. But the soil health and climate-smart agriculture coordinator for Purdue University still believes it is a “seller beware” market, with lots of questions yet to be answered. 

“It’s still very much the Wild West, but there’s some outside chatter of a new sheriff coming to town,” Schmitz says. “Namely, some certification requirements for technical service providers from the old Growing Climate Solutions Act got written into an omnibus bill and passed in December 2022.  

“If the ...

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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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