Land O’Lakes Sustainability Program Launches Farmer-Owned Carbon Program

(Credit: Truterra)

by | Feb 4, 2021

(Credit: Truterra)

Farmers have a new way to develop and sell carbon credits to private sector buyers with the launch of TruCarbon from Truterra LLC, the sustainability business and subsidiary of Land O’Lakes Inc. TruCarbon is launching with Microsoft as its first secured buyer to purchase carbon in 2021.

For the 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. Truterra will handle soil testing and other activities designed to ensure maximum credit quality and value.

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,” according to Truterra.

“The science is clear,” says 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.”

Land O’Lakes launched the Truterra farmer-driven food and agriculture sustainability program in 2016. Among the company’s range of sustainability and stewardship offerings is the Truterra Insights Engine, an interactive on-farm digital platform that lets farmers 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.

A 2018 survey conducted by the International Food Information Council, indicated that 59% of American consumers said they care about whether their food is grown sustainably, according to Forbes.

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