Farmers Find Barriers to Carbon Markets

Farmers are struggling to enter carbon markets. A new report from Reuters says a climate push from the Biden administration is sparking interest in farm-based carbon credits. Companies like Microsoft are purchasing credits and others like Bayer and Cargill have subsidized projects to incentivize farmers to reduce emissions. The Department of Agriculture is monitoring the success of the carbon markets with an eye on future farm bill programs.

However, a Nebraska farmer told Reuters, “It’s very new; it’s still the wild west.” Lukas Fricke is generating carbon credits for Microsoft but expects the $20 per credit to not cover the cost of expenses to participate. Much of the cost to companies purchasing credits goes towards verifying carbon-capture claims. Ecosystem Services Market Consortium executive director Debbie Reed says, “Until we get to a market where there is liquidity, we will continue to see projects without buyers, and we will continue to see buyers without the supply they need.” Her organization is investing in satellite and remote sensing technology to help lower verification costs.