Cargill launches U.S. carbon agriculture program for 2022

Reuters reports that Cargill’s RegenConnect program will use soil sampling, agricultural data, and remote sensing to estimate the environmental benefits of practices such as planting cover crops or not tillage, then pay growers $ 20 for each tonne of carbon sequestered.

The project is one of a growing number of climate-focused programs launched by agricultural companies seeking to reduce their carbon footprint or profit from carbon trading.

Critics have called some greenwashing projects by polluting companies and questioned the permanence of the carbon captured by intensive row agriculture.

Cargill has enrolled farmers in the RegenConnect program for several months and expects to pay participants 50% of their expected annual payment in December, said Ben Fargher, vice president of sustainability for the North American agricultural supply chain. by Cargill.

The remainder will be paid later in crop year 2022.

Agricultural data will be collected and verified by carbon measurement company Regrow.

Cargill already has other environmental programs underway, mostly regional, but sees RegenConnect as a “flagship program” that it hopes to expand in the coming seasons, Fargher said.

The company aims to have 10 million acres (4 million hectares) enrolled in sustainable and regenerative agriculture programs by 2030, as its customers, from importers of raw materials and ranchers to food companies and of consumer goods, are also seeking to reduce their carbon footprint.

“The goal of this program is to contribute to our corporate commitment of 10 million acres and to meet the expectations of our CPG customers,” said Fargher.

Cargill did not disclose the number of acres currently registered with RegenConnect.

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