August 15 is the last day that agricultural producers can increase their farm income through participation in the National Farmers Union carbon storage pool. The program has been created through a partnership with NFU and approved by the Chicago Climate Exchange to enroll agriculture producers' acres into blocks of credits that will be traded similarly to other agricultural commodities.
Farmers and ranchers who enroll before the deadline will receive credit for their carbon storage practices in 2006 and 2007.
Carbon storage is quickly becoming a marketable farm commodity for farmers and ranchers. The farm practices currently eligible for carbon storage credits include continuous no-till cropping, seeding of grassland since 1999 and tree planting on former cropland or pasture since 1990. The incentives for these practices range from $1.50 per acre to as high as $25.00 per acre based upon the region, soil types, and practice.
"Developing a commodity system that rewards farmers for their stewardship of the land is an important step in the right direction," says Russ Kremer, Missouri Farmers Union president. "Missouri farmers, ranchers and forest landowners could soon be leaders in the carbon storage market bringing millions of dollars to our rural communities."
The partnership allows farmers and landowners to earn greenhouse gas emissions credits for their stewardship. These conservation practices remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it in soil and plants. Missouri currently has more than 15,000 acres enrolled in conservation practices aggregated by NFU.
To enroll in National Farmers Union Carbon Credit Program online visit www.nfu.org.
To learn more, contact the Missouri Farmers Union office at 573-659-4787; e-mail: [email protected].