Thanks to some creative thinkers in private industry, Cap-and-Trade could become a new income source for growers.
Cap-and-Trade was a controversial program invented some years ago as a way for big polluters to offset the damage done by their pollution. It’s had its problems being implemented, but It has also had some success in reducing carbon pollution. It works like this: the government sets how much pollution a company can release. If they go over that amount, they must offset it some way or face big penalties.
The polluters can buy carbon credits from companies that pollute less than the government allows, or they can fund projects that take the pollutant out of the environment.
Enter Indigo Ag, a technology company that says that Agriculture can be a huge source of carbon credits, so big that it could control climate change. The effort would also create a new income source for farmers while providing new ways for them to improve their soil.
Indigo Ag is a technology company that looks for creative solutions to a variety of ag issues. They have a history of helping farms around the country improve production by employing techniques that improve the organic content of the soil.
It seems like a given – farms grow things. They use carbon dioxide to create plants and food. But presently, most farm operations are not carbon-negative – they release more carbon than they store in the ground. Things like vehicles and petroleum-based fertilizers and pesticides are just the start; practices like slash-and-burn and tilling release carbon that could be stored in the ground as organic matter. Changes like planting cover crops, no-till cultivation, and rotational grazing would keep the carbon in the ground instead of releasing it into the air.
The bottom line is, farmers can create these credits by sequestering Carbon in their soil. Indigo Ag could broker these credits to companies that need them, and provide the testing that proves the sequestration is working.
Sounds like It could be a win-win.
I’m Len Wilcox and that’s the Western View from AgNet West and Citrus Industry Magazine. Visit us on the web at www.citrusindustry.net.
About the Author
Len Wilcox is a retired scientist who also ran a newspaper and has written for agricultural publications since the 1980s. He was a regular contributor to California Farmer Magazine. His commentary “The Western View” is a regular feature on Farm City Newsday and AgNet West.
Video by: Indigo Agriculture