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Author: Amber Leusink
By 2028, it’s estimated the carbon capture and sequestration market will be worth $7 billion due to a nearly 15x increase in carbon credit demand.1,2 Strong voluntary market demand for carbon credits is attracting new buyers, higher carbon credit prices and more transaction volume.
As the carbon markets continue to grow and other markets for sustainability services become available, successful program operators must be able to support scalability, maintain high integrity, invest in infrastructure, foster trust with stakeholders, and protect data and credibility. We understand the critical role accurate data plays in emerging markets and respect that farmers may have questions about the data stream in sustainability program workflows. It's our goal to simplify the process and make data management as seamless as possible throughout a farmer’s journey.
One of the first questions many farmers have as they consider a sustainability program is, “What data do I need to get started?” At Truterra, we collect more than 20 different farming operation data points at program enrollment. These field-specific data points include information about production practices: tillage strategy, fertility programs, crop rotation and field boundaries. Because our carbon program payments are based on the amount of carbon sequestered from a practice change, we need a reliable, comprehensive set of input data to accurately calculate how practice changes impact soil health and carbon sequestration. We understand the initial data collection process for program enrollment may seem overwhelming for some farmers. However, our programs are designed to ensure data is not a roadblock for enrollment.
The data journey
Farmers who enroll in a carbon program through their local retailer work directly with their trusted agronomist to collect and validate their farm’s data. Truterra experts train ag retailers on best practices for data collection and ensure they have the proper tools for managing data on a field-by-field basis.
If a farmer does not have a Truterra affiliated retailer near their operation, they can enroll in a Truterra program directly. In this case, Truterra assigns a dedicated field data coordinator who meets farmers where they are to walk through the data collection and submission process. Truterra data collectors are often farmers themselves, deeply rooted in agriculture. Truterra’s data coordinators understand farming and that reliable, precise data is needed for successful program enrollment.
Once the initial data is collected, Truterra performs an internal quality assurance process and sends the information back to farmers for verification. This step helps ensure future payment calculations are based on accurate baseline and post-practice change data.
After the initial enrollment year, the data requirements for re-enrollment are simplified. The farmers’ contract outlines future data reporting requirements, and the data coordinator or farmer’s ag retailer helps manage those workflows.
Truterra carbon program payments are calculated based on the amount of carbon sequestered in the soil from recently implemented practice changes. We invest heavily in data integrity to help ensure farmers are rewarded accurately and in a timely manner for their practice changes. Our team collaborates with leading ag data partners in the industry, including Farmobile® and EFC Systems™, to enable the collection, standardization, viewing and sharing of information.
Truterra uses science-backed modeling, weather information and soil sampling to measure carbon sequestration. The process is objective and straightforward and ensures transparency for our farmers. Our third-party verifier, SCS Global Services, audits our data streams to help ensure our processes meet stringent industry standards. We’re hyper-focused on collecting relevant, high-fidelity data to improve the science behind our modeling and payment calculations.
The data precision and accuracy required to manage a carbon program continues to evolve. Therefore, we’re focusing on continuous process improvements to maximize farmer value, maintain data quality and simplify data management. We are working toward more digitally enabled engagement with our farmers and retail collaborators to streamline data workflows in the future.
People make the difference
When it comes to farming, there is no one size fits all approach. The Truterra team understands that every farmer has different goals and challenges, and we want to ensure they gain maximum value for their production practices. Today, more than 400 farmers have partnered with Truterra to start their sustainability journey and we’re excited to be with them from step one.
As a farmer-driven company built on a tried-and-true, decades-old co-op system, Truterra wants to work for agriculture’s benefit in emerging new markets. We do that by providing a team of boots-on-the-ground experts who can help farmers navigate these uncharted waters. We're embedded in local communities with a shared sustainability goal and a clear vision to achieve it.
If you’re interested in taking the next step in your sustainability journey, take a short survey to determine the right programs for your individual fields.
1 Fortune Business Insights. Carbon Capture and Sequestration Market Size to Grow Worth USD 7.00 Billion at a CAGR of 19.5% for 2021-2028. 2022. https://www.globenewswire.com/en/news-release/2022/09/28/2524008/0/en/Carbon-Capture-and-Sequestration-Market-Size-to-Grow-Worth-USD-7-00-Billion-at-a-CAGR-of-19-5-for-2021-2028-Fortune-Business-Insights.html
2 McKinsey and Company. A Blueprint for Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets to Meet the Climate Challenge. https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/sustainability/our-insights/a-blueprint-for-scaling-voluntary-carbon-markets-to-meet-the-climate-challenge
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