Take It To the Bank

Carbon, carbon, carbon!  The current push for climate policy centers around carbon management.  Already several companies either have or are working on carbon programs for their customers.  Farmers are being told there is an income stream available to them through carbon management and markets.  In other words a carbon bank is opening and farmers need to open an account.  Farmers however have questions and concerns and rightfully so.  They have heard this before.  Some remember (and still cringe when they hear it) the days of Cap and Trade.  That didn’t turn out so well.  Hopefully mistakes of the past will be avoided this time.  Certainly the emphasis by this Congress and the Biden administration is on climate issues and policies.  Many ag producers are already using practices such as reduced tillage and cover crops, precision fertilizer application and methane digesters that help reduce carbon output. The ethanol industry is moving towards zero carbon emissions. Hopefully there will be a financial incentive for them to do even more in the future.  Private markets for carbon credits are starting up and becoming more available. Too often in the past, agriculture has been a target of blame instead of a source of opportunity in addressing climate issues.  The government needs to incentivize agriculture producers to increase their efforts and not burden them with punitive regulations.   As with other production and marketing practices, producers will need to do their homework and make informed decisions.  No doubt there will be those in the market place over promising and under delivering but this does seem like a window of opportunity for farmers and ranchers.  Hopefully the government won’t mess