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What farmers need to know to get paid for carbon

A lower carbon intensity score could mean money in the bank for corn farmers.

Betty Haynes

June 5, 2024

6 Min Read
Mitch Hora on the farm
GET TALKING: “Farmers need to start talking with the ethanol companies, and ethanol companies need to start talking with farmers,” says Mitchell Hora of Continuum Ag. “We have to collaborate and create more awareness about how big of a deal this is for farmers.”Gil Gullickson

Carbon intensity scores could rewrite the rules on how farmers get paid for smart climate practices. 

“What's happening now is so different than what we’ve seen the last five years — and it's so much better,” says Mitchell Hora, a seventh-generation Washington, Iowa, farmer. “It could be a game-changer for family farms and American ag.” 

A carbon intensity score measures the carbon footprint per bushel of grain produced, explains Hora, who founded Continuum Ag in 2015 to help farmers profit from improved soil health. In contrast with voluntary carbon offset markets, where carbon is sold to the left and grain is sold to the right, CI scoring allows carbon and grain to be sold as one asset, remaining together through the supply chain....

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About the Author(s)

Betty Haynes

Betty Haynes and her husband, Dan, raise corn, soybeans and cattle with her family near Oakford, Ill., and are parents to Clare. Haynes grew up on a Menard County, Ill., farm and graduated from the University of Missouri. Most recently, she was associate editor of Prairie Farmer. Before that, she worked for the Illinois Beef Association, entirely managing and editing its publication.

Haynes won the Emerging Photographer Award from the Ag Communicators Network during the 2022 Ag Media Summit. At the 2023 AMS, she was named a Master Writer and winner of the Andy Markwart Horizon Award.

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