Cargill launches regenerative agriculture initiative

MINNEAPOLIS – Cargill is recruiting farmers into a new regenerative agriculture program that pays them for improved soil health and positive environmental outcomes, including payment per tonne of carbon sequestered.

The program, RegenConnect, connects farmers to the growing carbon market and will help scale up voluntary adoption of regenerative farming practices.

“Agriculture has a unique opportunity to use voluntary carbon markets and regenerative agriculture to address the global climate challenge and improve the economic prospects of farmers, who are truly the heroes of our food system,” said Ben Fargher , vice president of sustainability at Cargill’s North. American agricultural supply chain. “Changes to the root of our supply chains will have the greatest impact on reducing emissions, increasing yields, improving water quality, sequestering carbon and enhancing the resilience of our soils for the next generation. We are actively working hand in hand with farmers to lead the way, supporting them with tools, resources – and most importantly, market access – to shift to regenerative agriculture. “

Farmers registered with Cargill RegenConnect will implement the regenerative farming practices of their choice starting this fall until the next planting season. Eligible practices include cover crops and reduced or no tillage.

Cargill has partnered with carbon measurement company Regrow to make it easy for farmers to measure, report and verify carbon results (MRV) using field data, remote sensing and modeling. crop and soil health. The Regrow MRV platform ensures easy registration, secure data collection and provides farmers with transparent measurement and verification options.

“Producers told us they were looking for sustainability programs that offer simplicity, transparency and flexibility to fit their specific operations,” said Fargher. “We took that feedback and designed our program, RegenConnect, to meet those needs and it was very well received. “

The RegenConnect program connects farmers to Cargill’s downstream customers who rely on agricultural supply chains to meet their carbon reduction targets.

“Farmers are working hard right now to navigate incredibly disruptive global market conditions,” Fargher said. “Profitability and positive environmental impacts can go hand in hand. We do not want to place an even greater burden on their operations. Everything we do together to reduce emissions should also improve their operations. “

In a study of 100 farmers in nine states conducted by the Soil Health Institute and supported by Cargill, researchers found that soil health management systems increased the incomes of 85% of farmers growing corn and 88% of farmers. growing soybeans. Average income for corn producers increased by $ 52 an acre and soybeans by $ 45 an acre. In addition, farmers reported a reduction in the average cost of growing corn by $ 24 an acre and soybeans by $ 17 an acre.

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