BOSTON (September 5, 2023) – Indigo Ag, an innovative leader and trusted partner in sustainable agriculture, announced today the publication of a peer-reviewed research article in the international soil science journal Geoderma. Written by Indigo’s internal team of scientific experts and leading researchers in the field, the article highlights the scientific rigor in Indigo’s use of the DayCent-CR model to quantify environmental benefits resulting from sustainable farming practices.
With the publication, Indigo continues to lead in the sustainable agriculture space by being the first and only sustainable agricultural company to both gain approval under the strict modeling requirements of the Climate Action Reserve Soil Enrichment Protocol and peer-review from the scientific community.
“This Geoderma article underscores our commitment to transparency and scientific rigor and sets us apart from others in the industry. It demonstrates that our soil carbon model is unbiased and has been confirmed to meet the most rigorous requirements available for the calibration and validation of models for use in greenhouse gas accounting,” said A.J. Kumar, Indigo’s vice president of sustainability sciences. “While this paper validates our models for offsets, the approach we take is consistent across our solutions and is the starting point to account for soil organic carbon removals in Scope 3 programs. This is incredibly important to customers of our sustainability programs, including Carbon by Indigo and our Market+ Source sustainable grain program, as well as our farmers and agribusiness partners to ensure that they are financing real, meaningful environmental benefits resulting from sustainable practices.”
With an increased focus on climate change and a growing market for agricultural sustainability programs, the number of farmers, corporations and partners that are benefiting from climate-smart agriculture practices continues to rise. Indigo is currently the only company to complete two crops of verified registry-issued agricultural soil carbon credits generated at scale. Since its first carbon harvest in June of 2022, the company has driven a 5x increase in the number of credits generated and a 200% increase over the original guaranteed payment rate to farmers. Its unprecedented third harvest is currently underway.
While sustainable farming practices have been shown to increase soil organic carbon (SOC) in cropland, farmers are also reaping the financial benefits of adopting these practices, enabling them to earn significant additional income. To date, payments of nearly $5M have been made to farmers across 22 states for their carbon credit production resulting from their adoption of sustainable practices.
Indigo’s approach to verification uses a hybrid direct measurement and modeling approach to quantify emissions reductions and removals on agricultural fields. Through the Climate Action Reserve, the quality of these credits is verified, enabling Indigo to help corporations know that they are buying carbon credits that will not only help them achieve their net zero commitments but are also helping the planet.
Indigo’s commitment to the rigorous scientific process underlying soil environment measurement and greenhouse gas removal is a priority and a competitive differentiator. For the last few years, Indigo’s internal team of scientific experts and leading researchers in the field worked together to further develop DayCent-CR, a specific version of the widely used modeling tool DayCent, to meet the rigorous standards of soil carbon measurement as outlined in the Soil Enrichment Protocol established by the offset project registry Climate Action Reserve (CAR). Any model used must be unbiased and adequately predict SOC changes, with known uncertainty, across the crops, practice changes, and geographies of interest.
The Geoderma article validates the use of DayCent-CR for the 14 combinations of specific crops and practice changes within Indigo’s carbon program, per CAR standards. Crops include wheat, corn, soybean, and cotton, barley, canola (fall and spring planted), dry edible beans, dry field peas, flax, oats, peanuts, rye, sorghum, sugar beets, sunflowers, and triticale, while creditable practices include cover cropping, reduced or eliminated tillage, and improved nitrogen management, with both synthetic fertilizers and application of organic manure. The model calibration and validation approach allow for the addition of new practices, crops, and geographies as new field studies and data become available.
Indigo has been deploying DayCent-CR in the quantification of its large-scale U.S. carbon project with the Climate Action Reserve, known as CAR1459. This project has led to the issuance of over 133,000 carbon credits (metric tons of CO2e). Project details can be found here while the most recent approved model validation report and the expert review may be found here.