(Juneau) The University of Wisconsin Extension Dodge County is giving farmers across the state an overview of agricultural carbon credits. There are two key concepts at the core of carbon markets: additionality and permanence. University of Wisconsin Extension Dodge County Crops and Soil Educator Will Fulwider explains.
“So, there’s this idea called additionality,” says Fulwider. “And that’s that they only pay for new practices. And so, you can, you need to make the change in order to store carbon. You can’t pretty much pay a person that’s already been doing no-till for 20 years, because it needs to be a new practice in order to make that change.”
Fulwider says it’s tough because some farmers that have been doing no-till for 20 to 30 years think they can cash in. His advice to farmers is to read their contract all the way through before making a change from no-till to a different practice of storing carbon.
“There’s a lot of different aspects of it, like this idea of permanence that the carbon needs to stay in the soil for a long period of time,” Fulwider says. “And it might have, kind of restrictions on land use in the future, which could change the value of your agricultural land if you go to sell, or retire, or what have you. So, there’s lots of issues at play that you need to consider if you’re gonna look at carbon credits. So, I would definitely recommend reading your contracts.”
Fulwider says that carbon credit companies are only sampling 30 centimeters, but it could change in the future.