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Land O’ Lakes launches first farmer-owned carbon program

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Land O’Lakes announced the launch of TruCarbon, a new carbon program that will help farmers generate and sell carbon credits to private sector buyers through their sustainability business, Truterra. TruCarbon represents the first and only farmer-owned carbon program in the U.S. that is designed to provide both the best experience for farmers and a novel approach for carbon credit buyers to incentivize change at scale.

Beth Ford, CEO of Land O’Lakes said, “TruCarbon is providing farmers new opportunities to be recognized and rewarded for their stewardship, creating new revenue opportunities for farm families as they adopt soil health practices and increasing the focus on carbon storage in crop fields. It’s through innovative approaches such as TruCarbon that our farmer cooperative system can help ensure that farmers’ businesses are profitable, our rural communities are resilient, and the land, air and water are healthy for future generations.”

How it works

TruCarbon offers buyers carbon credits that are created using leading soil and conservation science, and precision data and verification methods. The program offers farmers a streamlined experience, making it easier for them to develop and sell carbon credits so that they can focus on crop production and caring for the land. Through the Truterra Insights Engine data platform, the new TruCarbon program provides farmers and their trusted ag retailer advisors a powerful soil health planning suite of tools to help them decide what is best for their business while optimizing their fields’ carbon credit potential. TruCarbon also maximizes the value and return for farmers with premium carbon credit value.

TruCarbon is launching with Microsoft as its first secured buyer to purchase carbon in 2021, which will help meet the company’s ambitious commitment to be carbon negative by 2030. For this initial launch, participating farmers may receive $20 per ton of carbon with payments this summer for this first tranche of credits. Qualifying farmers may be compensated for carbon sequestration retroactively up to five years based on the soil health practices they adopted in prior growing seasons. For maximum farmer convenience, Truterra will handle soil testing and other activities designed to ensure maximum credit quality and value. Farmers can begin the information and enrollment process here.

The importance of a farmer-led program

Current and future carbon efforts will leverage Truterra’s best-in-class sustainability platform, the Truterra Insights Engine, along with agronomic expertise and the trusted advisor network of Land O’Lakes agriculture retailers to connect and support farmers as they adopt soil health practices and generate carbon credits.

“TruCarbon is like no other offering on the market because it is built with the farmer at the center, backed by the most cutting-edge technology platform on the market. That means that companies and others looking to buy trusted carbon credits can connect with farmers and support the adoption of more sustainable practices on farms across the country,” said Jason Weller, Vice President, Truterra.

“The science is clear,” said Dr. Wayne Honeycutt, CEO of the Soil Health Institute, which is collaborating with Truterra on TruCarbon metrics and soil sampling protocols. “Storing more carbon in soils not only benefits a farmer’s bottom line, but also improves water quality and helps fight climate change. Farmers who adopt soil health practices build drought resilience, reduce erosion and minimize nutrient losses. All of us at the Soil Health Institute are excited to work with Truterra on this project because it will help achieve these on-farm and environmental benefits at scale.”

Farmers and their ag retailers use the Truterra Insights Engine to measure and track their on-farm practices and model new practice changes such as cover crops and no-till based on environmental impact and profitability, so that farmers are equipped to take advantage of carbon markets and additional ecosystem services markets as they emerge.

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