Voluntary offset Program to reward farmers for sustainable
agricultural practices – November 2009
This initiative is provided by the National Farmers
Union (NFU), United States of America.
National Farmers Union (NFU) of the United States has
put in place in 2007 a voluntary offset program for farmers
and ranchers to contribute to overall greenhouse gas (GHG)
emission reductions through practices that sequester carbon
and reduce emissions from livestock. Agricultural offsets
provide the easiest and most readily available means of
reducing GHG emissions on a meaningful scale in the U.S.A.
while providing additional carbon sinks and associated cobenefits.
NFU’s Carbon Credit Program allows agricultural producers and landowners to earn income by storing carbon in their soil through no-till crop production, conversion of cropland to grass, sustainable management of native rangelands and tree plantings on previously non-forested or degraded land. In addition, the capture of methane from anaerobic manure digester systems can also earn carbon credits.
Monitoring and evaluation
Protocols are in place to ensure science-based conservation
practices, credit rates, third-party verification, full accountability in the event of non-compliance, and reserve pools of credits.
NFU as aggregator of carbon offsets
NFU has earned approval from the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) to aggregate carbon offsets (carbon credits) and sell
them on behalf of producers. The NFU enrols producer
acreage into blocks of marketable offsets that are traded on
the Exchange, much like other agricultural commodities are
sold. Proceeds from the sales are then forwarded to producers as each pool of carbon credits is marketed.
NFU’s carbon credits as additional sources of income
Farmers Union or other aggregators are the bridge between
agricultural producers and the market for carbon offsets. For
producers who can commit to a management system, carbon credits are an additional source of income.
NFU’s Carbon Credit Program wrote more than $9.5 million
in carbon credit checks to producers to date.