Agoro Carbon Alliance, a global business created for farmers and ranchers to earn additional revenue through farming and ranching practice changes that improve soil health, is expanding their carbon market offerings to farmers with the addition of legumes into a cover crop mix. The practice addition will allow legacy farmers, who are already leveraging cover crop strategies, to join Agoro Carbon Alliance and get paid for sequestering carbon for the first time.
Cover crops with a legume species increase soil organic carbon (SOC) in both the short and long term when compared to mono-species cover crops. Starting this season, growers can enroll acres in the new practice — including legacy cover croppers, who have not used legumes in the past, and were previously ineligible for carbon farming programs.
"Bringing this practice to the market fills a gap and creates additional opportunities for farmers, whether they're considering cover crops or already have a cover crop strategy," says Clay Craighton, Agoro Carbon Agronomist and Sales Manager. "Farmers across the Midwest frequently ask how they can get involved if they've already adopted these practices. Now, we can enroll more farmers while continuing to advance soil health and capture carbon through research-based methods."
In fact, due to the time it takes to build SOC with cover crops, growers who have already implemented cover crops could yield more carbon and improved stability with the addition of a legume.
A diverse cover crop with a legume species can also deliver other benefits, including:
- Reduce soil compaction
- Deliver a potential increase in nitrogen efficiency
- Enhance resilience to extreme weather
- Improve crop nutrient availability
- Increase water quality and retention
Every field is different and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to introducing new conservation practices. That's why Agoro Carbon Alliance has regional agronomists to provide hands-on support and advice to ensure farmer success each step of the way. Participating growers will work with their Agoro Carbon agronomist to choose the right species for their local conditions, determine the rate based on the species and establish the application method. Legume species may include clover or peas, with planting populations determined by the specific variety, seed size and grower's goals.
To ensure more farmers and ranchers can take part in and benefit from carbon programs, farmers and ranchers need innovative management practices they can easily adopt. Agoro Carbon's team of scientists make this possible by delivering soil carbon calculations and using modeling procedures to build the ag carbon market and generate carbon credits.
"Agoro is committed to creating valuable opportunities, backed by rigorous science and robust data, that allow farmers and ranchers to reap the numerous rewards of carbon farming and ranching," says Yebin Zhao, Agoro Carbon Head of Science. "Legumes hold immense opportunity for carbon sequestration and can also benefit our farmers' soil health and bottom line."