It’s crucial to do proper planning – weighing any safety, liability and insurance considerations.Read More
The following information is provided by Nationwide, the No. 1 farm and ranch insurer in the U.S.*
A growing list of food companies and agribusinesses are offering payments to farmers for climate-smart farming practices if these practices can be adequately documented. Providing the right data to those companies is fundamental to opening and maintaining this new carbon-farming revenue stream for farmers.
What is carbon farming?
Carbon farming involves implementing practices that are known to improve the rate at which CO2 is removed from the atmosphere and converted to plant material and/or soil organic matter.
“Carbon farming can potentially benefit farmers in a couple of ways. First, it can provide an additional revenue stream for your farm,” said Nationwide Risk Management Consultant Derek Hommer. “Second, it can improve crop production in the long run. Today’s conservation-driven farming practices, including no-till, living cover crops and perennial crop rotations, can help build more resilient, healthy soils.”
Collecting climate-smart farming data
Data collection is nothing new for many progressive crop farmers. Today’s precision ag technology enables farmers to collect and leverage data to make informed crop input and management decisions. Now, the “ag carbon economy” is calling on farmers to collect additional data to help document their farming practices that are contributing to the overall effort to lower agriculture’s carbon footprint.
“The more data you have, the better you can tell your story,” Hommer said. “A lot of farmers have already implemented the practices being requested — like no-till and cover crops — in some cases for decades. They just aren’t keeping records. As you begin taking steps to become part of the ag carbon economy, it’s crucial to figure out what data you need to collect and how you’re going to collect it.”
Common data collection tools available to farmers
- Yield monitors and mapping | The amount of carbon you can sequester in your fields is often determined by crop yield, making a yield monitor a valuable tool. Yield maps also help you make informed decisions on crop mixes to maximize crop revenue in systems including cash crops, cover crops and perennials.
- Planting maps | Also common for cash crops, planting maps can be used to show precisely when cover crops were planted and terminated, creating a baseline for the data necessary to show how much carbon those crops have sequestered.
- Tillage maps | Though many farmers are exclusively no-till, most production systems use a combination of no-till and other conservation tillage practices depending on field conditions. Having these practices precisely mapped will enable you to show how much carbon you’ve sequestered in each field.
Keep your farm data safe
The data required to verify your carbon-smart farming practices is a valuable commodity and represents your path to a totally new revenue stream on your farm. As such, Hommer recommends working with platforms and software that can verify the security of your data.
“The ultimate goal is to collect everything, analyze your data and put it to work for the betterment of your farm,” he said. “Be cautious with who you share your data with and how much you share. Make sure you’re working with the right partners to ensure you’re doing what you need to do to create new revenue for your farm.”
Visit AgInsightCenter.com for expert tips and information from Nationwide to help you navigate the changing agricultural landscape, run a successful business and maintain the safety of your farm operation.
*A.M. Best Market Share Report 2020. Nationwide, the Nationwide N and Eagle, and Nationwide is on your side are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. © 2021 Nationwide
Through its policies it brings together people in the agricultural community and invests in building vibrant communities that support agriculture.Future employees, leaders
If it wasn't for Farm Bureau, I personally, along with many others, would not have had the opportunity to meet with our representatives face to face in Washington, D.C.Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
If you have issues with local planning or have legal questions, someone at the Farm Bureau has the answer for you, or they’ll connect you with someone who does.Hansen's Greenhouse
As a member of Farm Bureau, I am glad that this organization takes action when necessary to protect and advance agriculture.Policy Development
Farm Bureau is an incredible organization that has given me countless professional development opportunities in addition to advocating for all sizes and types of farmers.
The OACI Assessment survey results establish a baseline of adoption for various farming practices in the Lower Maumee watershed.Read More
Fire departments and residents of the community can nominate local fire departments between April 1, 2022, and Aug. 15, 2022.Read More
Incorporating these benefits into your long-term plans can help firm up your (and your farm’s) financial footing today and down the road.Read More
Zero lives lost: That’s the goal of Nationwide’s 2022 Grain Bin Safety Week program and Think Grain Bin Safety campaign.Read More
Thanks to generous support from Nationwide, the Ag Foundation opened applications for education grants that will empower educators with more accurate information about agriculture. Apply by Feb. 28.Read More