Indianapolis-based Corteva Agriscience (NYSE: CTVA) is making the first round of payments to farmers who produced credits as part of the company’s Carbon Initiative pilot. The company says the payments are a significant milestone in the push to validate carbon markets in the agriculture sector and incentivize farmers to reduce emissions.
The pilot first launched to corn and soybean farmers in Illinois, Indiana and Iowa last year. Corteva says the program was designed to test its ability to deliver scalable scope 3 emissions outcomes for food company buyers, consistent with climate accounting guidance.
“In partnership with our strategic collaborators, Corteva Agriscience is moving the needle when it comes to delivering carbon solutions at scale in agriculture,” said Emma Fuller, carbon and ecosystems program leader with Corteva Agriscience. “Soils are a high-potential pathway for reducing and sequestering carbon to address greenhouse gas emissions – but these programs must deliver real outcomes and work at scale on millions of acres to make an impact. That is where pilots, such as the scope 3 work through Corteva’s Carbon Initiative, are critical.”
Scope 3 emissions, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, are “the result of activities from assets not owned or controlled by the reporting organization, but that the organization indirectly impacts in its value chain.”
Corteva says it is using the pilot, alongside research on soil sampling acres, to create a benchmark for monitoring the progress on the same soil over time. In 2021, Corteva partnered with Boston-based Indigo Ag to expand eligibility and improve data collection processes and technology.
“Scientifically rigorous quantification is the key to success for both sides of the agricultural sustainability market – from growers looking to translate their efforts to the most value, to the companies looking to reduce their scope 3 emissions with confidence and trust in the realness of the results,” said A.J. Kumar, vice president of sustainability sciences with Indigo Ag. “Our use of the DayCent-CR model to estimate soil organic carbon changes in agriculture in this pilot is a powerful demonstration of how this best-in-class science can be implemented at scale.”
Corteva says there are more than one million acres currently enrolled in the program. The company is planning to release the next round of payments in the coming months.
Corteva designated Indianapolis as its new global headquarters earlier this year. The company, which spun out of DowDuPont (NYSE: DD) in 2019, relocated from Delaware.