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Survey: carbon market interest continues but participation is relatively low

Leasing farmland for carbon sequestration continues to generate a lot of interest, according to the latest Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer.

But, Purdue University’s Jim Mintert says “so far it doesn’t seem like there’s been maybe as much activity actually taking place with respect to people engaging in discussions and signing contracts as what you might think at first glance,” he says.

Three out of ten farmers surveyed are aware of opportunities to receive payments to capture carbon on their farms.

Among those producers, two percent have discussed carbon capture payments with companies.

Mintert tells Brownfield payment rates are preventing some farmers from participating in the carbon market.

“We asked some follow-up questions about why people chose not to participate or sign up some of their farmland and one of the factors is the amount of money being offered is very small,” he says. “We don’t have a lot of observations here because when it gets down to people who have actually engaged in some discussion, it becomes a pretty small number of people in our survey, but the most common payment offered was less than $10 per metric ton of carbon. When you put that back on a per-acre basis that’s not very much money. The category next to that was $10 to less than $20 per metric ton of carbon.”

The national monthly survey of 400 U.S. ag producers was conducted October 18-22.

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