How to reduce carbon footprint on farm: carbon consultation

Jazz Rosende

Thursday, June 30, 2022

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Farmers wanting to improve efficiency and income can benefit from having carbon consultation. This is a key tool for farmers looking to reduce carbon footprint of the farm with monetization through carbon farming.

Through a carbon program, the carbon farming process is streamlined into key steps that generate high-quality carbon credits. Having a carbon consultation is one of the early requirements in carbon farming to set everything right from the get-go.

Get an overview of what a carbon consultation is and how it is beneficial to the farm’s bottom-line goals.

Read more about carbon consultation as explained in these sections:

Carbon consultation: an initial step to reduce carbon footprint

In the context of carbon farming, the carbon consultation is an initial snapshot of farm information to establish a farm’s carbon footprint, understand the sources of emissions, and which areas of the farm operations can be improved on. It also helps to think of carbon consultations  as a sort of resource-use efficiency check to optimize farm performance rather than an environmental impact assessment report.

In eAgronom, a carbon consultation is done at the onset of the carbon program to set what the farm needs to do to generate high-quality carbon credits. Information gathered from the carbon consultation forms the basis for the practice plan which is evaluated by expert agronomists and to be implemented by the farmer over the course of the carbon program (5 years). The practice plan will be reviewed yearly as results get tracked and adjusted as needed depending on the farm’s progress. The result is producing verified carbon credits and increased carbon storage in farm soils.

Calculating the farm’s emissions

Having a carbon consultation takes into account about 3 years of historical farm data to calculate where the farm stands in terms of its carbon farming potential. Some data that could be required are:

  • Crop rotation history

  • Crop yield history

  • Residue management

  • Energy use

  • Fuel use

  • Chemical and organic fertilizer history

Data accuracy is important as it can affect the carbon credits a farm generates. The information needed for the consultation is to be supplied by the farmer for proper calculations. Even at this early stage, a fruitful collaboration between the farmer and the carbon program can have a huge impact on the income a farmer can make through carbon farming.

Why do you need carbon consultation?

carbon consultation

Assessing the farm serves many purposes. At the core, taking stock of farm stats can set the farm on the right track to efficiency. Because a big part of the information needed to do carbon accounting takes a look at the farm’s operations, its analysis is a great way to improve practical implementations and business efficiency. A farmer can have a better view of how the farm can be optimized and implement improvements accordingly that can help decrease costs and even improve profits.

Running the farm more efficiently makes the farm more resilient to changes and becomes more sustainable in the long run. For the savvy farmer, good results in carbon consultation can also become a marketing strategy that guarantees consumers that the crops produced on the farm are not contributing to climate change.

If the farmer seeks to create a new source of income with carbon farming, then the carbon consultation is an indispensable step toward producing high-quality soil carbon credits. Having carbon consultation is a part of MRV or measurement, reporting, and verification.

When carbon farming is managed by the farmer with guidance from a carbon program, the carbon consultation estimates a farm’s earning potential with carbon credits. With the right tools and support from the carbon program, carbon farming targets can be set accordingly that benefit the farmer in productivity, income, and environmental protection.

Ultimately, a carbon consultation aims to identify the impacts a farm has on greenhouse gas emissions. Evaluating farming operations can help the farmer make better decisions on how to avoid and reduce emissions, as well as how much the farm can store carbon in the soil and vegetation.

As regulations, financial access, and consumers require climate-smart products and services, as well as the increased uncertainty from extreme weather events, having carbon consultation can steer the farm in the direction of sustainability and better business decisions.

How is carbon consultation data handled?

Data privacy is something everyone is wary of. And trust is a key component of farming. That’s why when doing carbon consultations, eAgronom secures the information shared by farmers with utmost privacy. Data will never be shared with any company not related to the carbon program. All information collected during the carbon consultation is owned by the farmer and managed by eAgronom to perform necessary functions for the carbon program and made temporarily available with a certification body to accredit and verify the carbon credits. Data will not be given to third-party organizations such as fertilizer, plant protection products, or farm equipment companies.

In carbon farming, carbon consultation is one of the first steps to properly generating high-quality carbon credits. This informs the right practices a farmer can adopt to sequester more carbon for healthier soils, productive fields, and new forms of revenue through carbon credits.

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