Agricultural ecosystem credit markets are an emerging revenue stream, and Farm Bureau has recently begun to explore those markets through its Market Intel series. Micheal Clements shares how farmers and ranchers can benefit from the information.
Clements: The American Farm Bureau Federation is publishing a series of Market Intel articles focusing on opportunities and challenges of agricultural ecosystem credit markets. AFBF Economist Shelby Myers says the series provides farmers and ranchers the information they need before making any commitments to participate in these new markets.
Myers: With so many options and so many potential partners, it may be difficult for farmers to get all the information that they need before signing a contract. So, AFBF is releasing a series of Market Intels, we’re going to have five parts, that just kind of breakdown what agricultural ecosystem credit markets are, the opportunities and challenges that they present farmers, and some of the policy levers and many other factors that might be involved.
Clements: Myers says agriculture has been working on climate smart practices through conservation stewardship for decades.
Myers: When you look back at agriculture’s increased productivity by 287 percent since 1990 without using any additional resources, that’s a big statement. And so, these ag ecosystem credit markets are a voluntary incentive-based option for farmers and ranchers to expand their ability to adopt conservation practices. If it’s done in an economically viable way, it can also go hand-in-hand with what they’re already doing on the farm.
Clements: She says many of these markets are still in development and looking for farmers and ranchers to participate in pilot programs.
Myers: So, going forward it will be important to know that these credit markets are constantly evolving, and many are still under development or being refined, and farmers and ranchers should do as much research as they can to evaluate the options not only company by company, but also asset by asset, and the practices that are involved before they make any decisions about signing contracts and agreeing to participate in any of these markets.
Clements: View the series on the Market Intel page at fb.org. Micheal Clements, Washington.
For more information on how America’s farmers and ranchers are leading the way in climate-smart practices that reduce emissions, enrich the soil and protect our water and air, all while producing more food, fiber and renewable fuel than ever before, visit fb.org/sustainability.