EDITOR’S NOTE: The following press release has been updated from a version published on July 22, 2021 to include a recording of the webinar.
AMES, Iowa — Renewed interest in carbon markets and carbon credit trading is quickly finding its way to the farm. In an effort to provide updates and answer questions, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach held a public webinar Aug. 11 from 1-3 p.m.
A group of specialists discussed the basics of what a carbon market is, how people can participate, the benefits and consequences of participating and the things landowners and tenants should consider.
“Some farmers are already being asked to join marketing agreements,” said Chad Hart, professor in economics and extension grain markets specialist at Iowa State University. “Over the last six to eight months in particular, we have seen a lot of private companies starting to set up their carbon trading mechanisms and some are reaching out to landowners.”
Hart discussed the economic aspects of a carbon market and the potential for additional income. He was joined by Marshall McDaniel, assistant professor in the Department of Agronomy at Iowa State, and Kristine Tidgren, director of the Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation at Iowa State and holder of the Leonard Dolezal Professorship in Agricultural Law.
McDaniel discussed the science of carbon sequestration and how conservation practices can lead to sequestration; Tidgren talked about the legal implications of contracts.
“We will discuss the knowns and unknowns related to soil carbon management,” said McDaniel. “There is still a lot that is unknown about monitoring soil carbon and the best ways to do it.”
Even so, McDaniel said that there is a clear connection between certain farming practices – especially conservation practices – and measurable carbon sequestration.
Efforts to sequester carbon usually lead to other ecosystem benefits, as well, such as improved water infiltration, reduced nutrient loss and reduced flooding.
“There are multiple co-benefits that come along when we sequester soil carbon,” he said.
The webinar was moderated by Jamie Benning, assistant director for agriculture and natural resources with ISU Extension and Outreach. There was time for questions after presentations are made.
For more information, Benning can be reached at 515-294-6038 or email@example.com
— Jamie Benning, Chad Hart and Marshall McDaniel, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
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