Bayer is working with farmers to develop a new revenue opportunity through carbon.
The Carbon Initiative pilot program began in the U.S. this summer. According to Chad Bilby, North America Commercial Experimentation Lead with Bayer, says its set to accomplish three things.
“One was can we provide an incentive to farmers that allows them to adopt new agronomic practices that sequester more carbon in the soil,” said Bilby. “Two, can we actually measure and validate that amount of carbon that’s captures through those practices—not only on individual farms, but actually down to the individual field.”
And part three is divided into two parts.
“Our long-term approach is really aimed at establishing a carbon marketplace where carbon credits can be sold and provide sustainable new revenue streams for farmers,” said Bilby. “The short-term approach in this pilot was to offer a simple per acre incentive for farmers that can participate in our pilot this year.”
Bilby said pilot this year focused on corn and soybean producers in nine states.
“We focused on climate smart practices and would farmers adopt them as new practice,” he said. “It’s defined as cover crops, no till and strip till.”
If a grower meets those requirements, Bayer will give them a $10/acre incentive.
“The other piece is they need to be on Climate Field View,” added Bilby. “That’s an opportunity to get more out of the technology they already have. It allows farmers to very easily share the data and information we need for part of this pilot.”
Enrollment for fall 2020 has been overwhelming, said Bilby.
“We’ve actually exceeded our expectations, and we feel we’re on track to exceed our original acre targets,” he said. “We have a waiting list for the 2020 program, and we’re looking to actually open up another enrollment window in the spring of 2021.”
Bilby says Bayer is looking for more market opportunities to sequester more carbon and new products.
“At the end of the day, the true measure of this program’s success is going to rest in the hands of the farmer.”