AFT Releases Agriculture Carbon Markets Guidebook - American Farmland Trust

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AFT Releases Agriculture Carbon Markets Guidebook 

Manual Provides Information on Carbon Markets and Climate-Smart Practices for Farmers 

(Washington, D.C.) American Farmland Trust published Top 10 Things You Wanted to Know About Ag Carbon Markets, a guidebook for farmers, agricultural advisors, and conservation professionals seeking in-depth information on agricultural carbon markets and climate-smart practices.  

The guide defines agricultural carbon markets, or an environmental market developed to meet growing demand from corporations with the supply of carbon credits from the agricultural sector. Farmers are paid for reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and soil carbon sequestration on their land, and corporations use the credit to offset emissions. Farmers can use climate-smart practices, including no-till, cover crops, and nutrient management to provide economic and environmental benefits to their farms, such as reduced input costs, increased yield stability, and greater soil health.  

“This guidebook aims to help farmers better navigate emerging agricultural carbon market opportunities,” said Michelle Perez, AFT Water Initiative Director, and guidebook co-author. “Corporations with sustainability goals are trying to satisfy some of their targets by purchasing carbon credits, some of which can be generated by farmers who adopt climate-smart practices. However, these agricultural carbon markets have been repeatedly described as the ‘Wild West’ because the programs are paying for different things in different ways, with different expectations.” 

The guide lists ten questions on how agricultural carbon markets work and practical ones that are top of mind for farmers. For example, it defines various concepts, such as what climate-smart practices are, and how agricultural carbon markets work. The book also describes the federal government’s role in carbon markets and legislation passed to support these initiatives.  

Finally, the guidebook answers logistical questions, including participation eligibility, required farmer information and access, contract duration, and other information.  

“Our guidebook is a great example of how AFT is working with agricultural carbon markets, federal and state conservation programs, and the agricultural conservation community to ensure that farmer interests are reflected, environmental integrity upheld, and climate-smart agriculture is expanded,” said Perez.  

Access the Top 10 Things You Wanted to Know About Ag Carbon Markets here 


American Farmland Trust is the only national organization that takes a holistic approach to agriculture, focusing on the land itself, the agricultural practices used on that land, and the farmers and ranchers who do the work. AFT launched the conservation agriculture movement and continues to raise public awareness through our No Farms, No Food message. Since our founding in 1980, AFT has helped permanently protect over 7.8 million acres of agricultural lands, advanced environmentally-sound farming practices on millions of additional acres and supported thousands of farm families. 

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