If you’ve read NCGA’s Sustainability Report, you know that U.S. corn farmers have been going to bat to help combat climate change for more than the last three decades. They continue to play a crucial role in mitigating risks to our natural environment . . . and they are suiting up for an even bigger role in the future. NCGA and its grower leaders have begun writing the next chapters on continuous advancement by setting five national efficiency goals. One of those goals is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per bushel by 13% by the year 2030.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is the aim . . . and that is where carbon offsets—also known as carbon credits—can come into play. Carbon markets have the potential to provide a new source of income for participants. First, however, farmers must do the necessary homework to decide if that income will be worth the obligations and efforts required. We encourage farmers to consult an attorney to review the contract and help them understand their rights and obligations before signing.
Currently, there is no national policy to establish standards and protocols surrounding carbon markets making it crucial that growers educate themselves on the choices available. A great place to start is by looking at the 10 Key Questions You Should Ask As You Consider Participating in Carbon Markets (source: Nebraska Corn Growers Association, Carbon Markets 101).
To help navigate these climate change concerns and questions surrounding credits and offsets, NCGA has started a repository of educational resources aimed at helping farmers get ahead of the carbon market learning curve.
NCGA Policy and Position regarding Global Climate Change (PDF)
2030 Corn Environmental Sustainability Goal: Greenhouse Gas Emissions (PDF)
Carbon Accounting Lexicon (PDF)
Decode 6: Decoding Carbon and Ecosystem Services
Nebraska Corn Growers Association: Carbon Markets 101
Ohio Corn & Wheat Policy Priorities: Carbon Markets
Illinois Sustainable Ag Partnership: Ecosystem Markets
Trust in Food’s Carbon Webpage
American Coalition for Ethanol: The Case for Properly Valuing the Low Carbon Benefits of Corn Ethanol
Growth Energy: Biofuels--Key to Clean, Healthy Air