No-tillers enrolled in carbon credit programs that reward them for reducing greenhouse gas emissions are finding the market for their credits has shrunk amid the recession and uncertainty about climate legislation being crafted by Congress.
As of mid-August, carbon credit prices had fallen all the way to 25 cents per metric ton on the Chicago Climate Exchange after trading in the $7 range in the summer of 2008. Dale Enerson, director of the National Farmers Union program, says some companies that had purchased carbon credits have shuttered due to the harsh economy.
“Some of their factories have closed, so they are emitting less or not at all. So, there is no need for an offset,” says Enerson, who will conduct a classroom session at the 2010 National No-Tillage Conference in Des Moines, Iowa (www.notillconference.com) providing an update on the market situation.
AgraGate announced in July that it was suspending new enrollments in its carbon credits program.
“If and until the Senate passes a cap-and-trade bill, political uncertainty in the carbon credit market is expected to keep prices low,” AgraGate CEO Dave Sengpiel says. “If market conditions improve and the outlook stabilizes, we will reconsider new aggregation activities at that time.”