Details on an agreement that allows Pacific Northwest Direct Seeding Association members to lease carbon credits to a major energy company were announced at the organization’s annual meeting in mid-January. The pilot project is expected to include leasing 30,000 tons of carbon dioxide (the equivalent of 8,174 tons of carbon) over 10 years.
Each eligible grower will commit acreage at a pre-determined price for 10 years. Payments will be made up front and yearly verification that the acreage is being no-tilled will be required.
A cropping operation having average rainfall and fields that have been no-tilled for 5 years would accumulate 0.75 tons of carbon per acre. If 60 no-tilled acres are committed to the program, 45 tons of carbon will be sequestered. At a price of $7.34 per ton, this represents a payment of $330.30 to the no-tiller.
“This is a pilot project,” says Karl Kupers, vice president and chairman of the group’s carbon sequestration committee from Harrington, Wash. “The acreage and dollars involved are minimal. We expect the future may hold a higher per-ton value for carbon, but this is a beginning.
“The real value in the opportunity is that we are the first to get our foot in the door. If or when prices go higher, we are leasing rather than selling carbon to the energy company. At the end of the 10 years, we are still the owner and the acreage committed will have accumulated more carbon during the duration of the lease.”