Indigo Ag Inc., a Boston- based company specializing in agricultural technology and management, is setting up a market for carbon credits. Companies and consumers with voluntary or compulsory commitments to reduce their carbon footprint can, rather than reduce emissions themselves, pay farmers to do it for them. Via the Indigo Carbon marketplace, they can pay farmers like Mr. Hora $15 to sequester one metric ton of carbon dioxide in the soil.
Modern Farmer recently spoke with Indigo Ag CEO David Perry about how the Terraton Initiative works, and how he intends to overcome the obstacles that brought down other farm-based carbon trading platforms.
The Terraton Initiative embodies one specific goal—to remove 1 trillion metric tons of carbon from Earth’s atmosphere. Indigo Agriculture, an agricultural technology company based in Massachusetts, founded and runs the project. To accomplish this goal, the Initiative aims to use “the awesome potential of the soil beneath our feet to absorb one trillion tons of atmospheric carbon,” says David Perry, CEO and Director of Indigo Agriculture.
Ag tech company, Indigo Agriculture, has created a carbon marketplace where growers who sequester carbon are paid and businesses, nonprofits or anyone interested in investing in the marketplace can purchase carbon credits, typically used to offset the release of greenhouse gases from some other activity. The company aims to reduce carbon dioxide by 1 trillion tons. Ed Smith is the head of Indigo Carbon, and oversees the company’s Terraton Initiative. If a farmer has a 100-acre field, and puts three tons of carbon dioxide into the ground, Smith says that farmer would be compensated $45 per acre — for a total of $4,500 for the entire field.
The processes that generate high-quality, fertile topsoil can take centuries. But the world is ploughing through that resource at an alarming rate. About 40% of the world's land has already been taken over by agriculture, while livestock grazing and expanding urban areas are taking further chunks out of what is left over. At first glance, it might seem that there is no shortage of mud and dirt around the world. But it's the quality that really counts.
The Boston-based firm, Indigo Ag, coats seeds in beneficial microbes in the hope of giving young plants their own ready-made microbiome that will boost the nutrients they receive as they grow, while also acting as a first line of defence against diseases. Coating seeds with pesticides or micronutrients is already a fairly common, if relatively new, approach in the agricultural industry. But adding microorganisms is more unusual, partly because they have a limited shelf life. Indigo claims that by drying the microbes and mixing them with a polymer on the surface of the seeds, they can be stored for months, if not years, before they are sown. Read More