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Coming soon: nitrogen reduction credits

Coming soon: nitrogen reduction credits

Credits for reduced fertilizer application follows a concept similar to cap and trade carbon-trading mechanisms.

From Corn and Soybean Digest:

You can soon earn credits for reduced fertilizer application if you prove it reduces nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions, which are a potent greenhouse gas. That could be a big "if."

N2O is 310 times more potent in trapping atmospheric heat than carbon dioxide, according to the California nonprofit group Climate Action Reserve (CAR), which released an N-management protocol June 28. “The ultimate goal is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from farm-applied nitrogen fertilizers by awarding verifiable credits that can be traded on related exchanges,” CAR said. The concept is similar to cap and trade carbon-trading mechanisms.

“More than two-thirds of all U.S. N2O emissions come from management of agricultural land,” CAR says, citing EPA statistics, “or 3.1% of total U.S. emissions.

“Through more efficient application of N fertilizer under this protocol, farmers can achieve reductions in GHG emissions, generate carbon offsets, earn revenues from the carbon market and provide an important commodity to a growing world population,” CAR says.

For more, see: Coming To a Field Near You: Nitrogen Reduction Credits

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