Cashing in on Carbon

July 30, 2008 07:00 PM

Sara Muri
, Top Producer Business & Crops Online Editor
If you use no-till or strip-till methods on your crop farm, some cash could be waiting for you. By using these minimal-tillage practices or planting grass to prevent erosion, farmers can qualify for carbon credits.
One company farmers can sign up with for these credits is AgraGate, a subsidiary of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation. AgraGate collects all the carbon credits from farmers and ranchers and then assembles them in large bundles to sell to the Chicago Climate Exchange.
Lavonne Baldwin of AgraGate says the amount farmers are paid for their carbon credits depends on the current trading amount and the number of credits sold. She says between Jan. 1 and June 30, the average amount per acre paid to farmers was $4.63. Baldwin says geographic location is another determining factor in the amount of payout.
The deadline for farmers to sign up their no-till and strip-till practices, along with their new grass plantings is Aug. 15. The grass plantings must have been sown since Jan. 1, 1999.
States in the New England and Pacific Northwest areas are not eligible for the no-till or strip-till credits. But, all 50 states qualify for the grass planting credits.
Farmers can go to to fill out the contracts. Certain forms and certification documents, which are listed on the contract, are required for farmers to participate. You can also contact AgraGate by phone at (866) 633-6758.

You can e-mail Sara Muri at

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