SIDNEY, Ohio -- Harvesting the land drives revenue for farmers, but what they leave in the soil could also be a moneymaker.
Farmers who sequester, or store, carbon in the soil through a number of conservation production practices can earn additional revenue through carbon trading. A carbon credit meeting, hosted by Ohio State University Extension and other agricultural entities, will be held March 19 to educate farmers and landowners on how they can participate.
"There's an emerging revenue opportunity for farmers and it's selling carbon credits," said Roger Bender, an OSU Extension educator for Shelby County. "These credits have value and can be sold on the Chicago Climate Exchange."
The Chicago Climate Exchange (http://www.chicagoclimateexchange.com) is a voluntary rules-based greenhouse gas emission and trading system, and the place to go to trade carbon credits in the open market. Any agricultural or forestry practice that stores carbon earns credits which can be sold on the market.
The carbon credits meeting will take place at 7 p.m. at the Shelby County Ag Center, 820 Fair Road, Sidney. The meeting is free and open to the public.
Mark Wilson of Land Stewards will provide information about AgraGate, a subsidiary of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation and the leading aggregator of carbon credits from agriculture. On behalf of farmers and private forest owners, the company has marketed carbon credits from more than 1.8 million acres in 26 states, including Ohio, on the Chicago Climate Exchange.
"In 2008, AgraGate paid out over $4.2 million to farmers holding carbon credits throughout the nation," said Bender. "At the present time, the value of a carbon credit is not great (approximately $2/acre), but many people agree carbon credits may soon become more valuable if climate change legislation is passed by Congress."
The carbon credits meeting is co-sponsored by the Shelby County Farm Bureau, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Shelby Soil and Water Conservation District and the Farm Service Agency.
For more information, call (937) 498-7239 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.