Smart Carbon Q&A
We understand you may have questions regarding the next steps with our Smart Carbon Program.
Below, we’ve compiled our most Frequently Asked Questions to help you understand how we are moving forward together. If you have any additional questions or require support, contact us by emailing: Support@FarmersEdge.ca
How is the program changing?
Our Smart Carbon Programs will continue in Canada into 2023 based on the Conservative Cropping Protocol (CCP) and Nitrous Oxide Emissions Reduction Protocol (NERP). However, industry-wide there are changes in GHG science and GHG accounting. These two changes mean carbon yields drop by roughly 25% to 35%, depending on ecozones and eco-districts. Due to the impact of these changes, we will work closely with you to review your opportunity to combine our Soil Carbon and Nitrogen Management programs and collect data concurrently to better position your farm.
How do farmers get paid for their contribution?
Carbon offsets (credits) are sold in multiple tonne transactions with directly negotiated contracts between sellers and buyers, or with the help of a broker or reseller. These are commonly referred to as OTC (over-the-counter) transactions. Our role at Farmers Edge is to work with growers to amalgamate carbon tonnes from multiple farms and then transact them once the tonnes are created. Although we track by farm or field, carbon offset tonnes are a commodity product, similar to grain, and are not identified and sold by farm or field. Once all the tonnes are sold, we can then calculate the final price for project tonnes and share the value to each grower as per our Smart Carbon Contract.
When do farmers get paid, and are prices comparable to other land-based removal and reduction projects?
Companies that purchase carbon credits from the voluntary market are doing so voluntarily, typically based on self-imposed corporate commitments and sustainability goals. Funds for these projects are subject to the availability of capital within each organization. However, carbon credits are trading regularly; Farmers Edge works with multiple businesses to negotiate rates and achieve the best price for our farmers. Once all offsets are sold for a voluntary project, we then calculate final pricing and begin to distribute funds as per your Smart Carbon contract terms. Although the process timing is uncertain, we typically target the sale of serialized tonnes in the period 1-2 years post-harvest. Please note, we can not begin the process until all data and documentation are received from growers. Delays in data collection and market fluctuations may result in additional time to complete the asset sale.
How thorough are Farmers Edge processes?
We’re focused on ensuring accurate, validated datasets. We achieve this through our unique digital infrastructure that includes on-farm hardware installed on your farm, our digital platform—FarmCommand®—and our local boots-on-the-ground support teams. Our Field Teams work directly with growers to collect and check that required data and evidence are available. This information is then Quality Assured by our internal QA Team to ensure it is ready for verification. We work with independent third-party verifiers to review all datasets, supporting materials, and calculations of offsets. They create a Verification Report of all items reviewed and recalculations completed, pointing out any possible shortcomings or missing evidence items. This Verification Report is required by the carbon registry, along with our Project Report, before the project tonnes can be serialized (created with a serial number for every tonne). These procedures ensure the offsets are well-positioned for sale.
Are the protocols Farmers Edge uses referencing agricultural practices that are additional and not business-as-usual?
Business-as-usual concerns are handled within the two protocols we have selected for our Smart Carbon projects. The carbon yield adjustment mentioned above is a direct result of business-as-usual concerns regarding uptake of no-till farming on the Canadian prairies. The Conservation Cropping Protocol we use in our Soil Carbon Project is designed with an updating mechanism to adjust for this. This means growers who qualify for Soil Carbon have already met the business-as-usual bar, and the carbon yield reward for qualifying is considered additional carbon sequestration. Within our Nitrogen Management Projects, the grower qualifying practice we’ve enforced is creating a written 4R Plan with an Agronomist.