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Who are the main players in the carbon market?


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IndigoAg is a privately owned, Boston, Massachusetts-based agtech company that has been working with farmers since 2014. While its initial programs were geared toward increased yields, in 2019, the company established its “Carbon by Indigo” program, which helps farmers reduce their carbon footprint through techniques like minimum tillage, nitrogen efficiency and cover crops. Through this program, Indigo generates carbon credits that are then sold through its carbon market to those companies seeking to offset their carbon footprint and has sold credits to Barclays, JP Morgan Chase, Ralph Lauren and The North Face. According to this AgFunder article, the company “claims its credits have seen a 35% increase in price over the last year.” Their carbon program currently “represents 3.3 million participating acres” with a cohort of 14 leading organizations and the company recently partnered with Corteva and GROWMARK.


Nori is a Seattle, Washington-based agtech startup that is focused on creating a large-scale carbon marketplace where carbon can be easily bought and sold. The company, which was founded in 2017, uses blockchain technology to connect regenerative agriculture farmers with commercial buyers. The company is interested in working with farmers who have adopted regenerative agriculture practices within the last ten years, particularly with an emphasis on soil health and cover crops. Nori is working towards the establishment of a universal market-driven commodity price on carbon removal. According to this recent article, “Nori is on a mission to reverse climate change by making it as simple as possible to pay people to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.”

The Soil and Water Outcomes Fund

The Soil and Water Outcomes Fund helps farmers and landowners in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, Iowa, Illinois and Ohio switch to conservation practices like carbon sequestration and water quality improvement so they can benefit financially from these environmental practices. The process is pretty simple through this fund, which is a partnership between AgOutcomes and ReHarvest Partners. Basically, you enroll for a one-year annual contract and receive initial payment when your conservation practices have been approved and the remaining 50% is paid once outcomes and practices have been verified. Carbon credits are sold to public and private beneficiaries.

Ecosystem Services Market Consortium

Ecosystem Services Market Consortium is a public-private partnership with over 60 members that spans the agriculture supply and value chain, including corporate, nonprofit, foundation, industry association and government partners. The program will allow buyers to either contract specifically with sellers or purchase assets in auctions. Interested farmers and ranchers can sign up with ESMC’s market program, which will launch in 2022. However, the program isn’t solely for carbon credits. It is also geared toward “stacking” more than one type of environmental or conservation system improvement that also enhances biodiversity, water quality and improves habitat.


Bayer’s carbon program specifically concentrates on farmers and ranchers who use no-till and cover crops. Those enrolled in the program are paid annually $3 per no-till acre, $6 per cover crop acre and $9 per acre for both. The program is open to farmers in Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Missouri, Michigan, Ohio, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Maryland and Delaware. Farmers and ranchers must be enrolled in the program for a minimum of 10 years.

CIBO Impact

CIBO Impact is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts and was established in 2015 by Flagship Pioneering. Using advanced modeling, CIBO quantifies greenhouse gas emission reductions and soil carbon sequestration through the adoption of regenerative agriculture with a focus on a quicker transition to climate-friendly farming practices for the future. Right now, CIBO is only enrolling farmers growing corn and/or soy who implement regenerative agriculture practices like cover crops, nitrogen application, crop rotation, among others. Those who enroll in the program go through a verification process that includes remote sensing and computer vision from satellite data as well as sustainability modeling.

Farmers Business Network’s Gradable Carbon

Farmers Business Network’s Gradable Carbon was established in 2018 as a way to help farmers find potential carbon credit buyers. Farmers enrolled in the program earn a fixed floor of $20 per carbon credit through no-till/reduced tillage, cover crops, diversification of crop rotation and reduction of nitrogen use. Credits are only earned on acreage where the practices were adopted two years prior to entering the program. While the carbon credit price floor is fixed for the first year, participants can also choose to bank credits and sell later when the price appreciates. This recent AgFunder article has more.

Land O’Lakes TruCarbon

Land o’ Lakes TruCarbon launched in February of this year as a new carbon storage program that is the only farmer-owned carbon market program out there. Like the other programs, its goal is to sell carbon credits to private sector buyers. However, farmers who use TruCarbon use the Truterra Insights Engine data platform that allows them “to measure and track on-farm practices and model new practice changes” while also taking into account “other factors like environmental impact and profitability to equip farmers to take advantage of carbon markets and additional ecosystem services markets as they emerge,” according to this February article in Successful Farming. The company will also work to credit farmers for previous carbon-sequestering practices from the past five years and help adjust practices to create carbon credits for future sales.

Information has been gathered from sources deemed reliable but not guaranteed and is subject to change without notice. The information contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and not to be construed as tax or legal advice. Always seek the advice of an attorney for the legal or tax consequences of a transaction and/or related transactions.




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