Incentivizing growers to sequester soil carbon

The opportunity

Growers have not been financially motivated to view soil carbon as a critical input to the profitability of their farming operations.  The agriculture industry needs more powerful incentives, more efficient market mechanisms, clearer market signals, and more transparent methods for accounting for carbon sequestration in order to motivate growers to shift to regenerative agricultural practices and drive carbon into their soils.

The Challenge

We seek novel financial products and services that reward growers for sequestering soil carbon and drive rapid adoption of regenerative management practices. These solutions can support the scaling of existing and emergent ecosystem service market frameworks or propose new methodologies that might drive faster change across the agriculture industry.

Potential solutions

Insurance products
Short-term and long-term financing for regenerative practices
Government policies
Methods for supply chain insetting
Landlord-tenant cost-sharing instruments
New carbon credit methodologies
What’s your idea?

 

Reward solutions will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Begins to deliver value to growers within 1 year of enrollment
  • Applicable across many geographies and crops
  • Implementation is straightforward and requires minimal grower resources and time
  • Supports maintenance or buildup of soil carbon stocks
  • Potential to stimulate real demand for carbon

How The Terraton Challenge works

PHASE 1: APPLICATION JUL. 23 - OCT. 1, 2019

During this 10-week application period, you may submit your application using the specific website form for your category of interest.

PHASE 2: COHORT SELECTION OCT. 1 - OCT. 22, 2019

Over the course of three weeks, Indigo’s panel of judges including thought leaders, academics & entrepreneurs will review applications. A select number of round 1 applicants will be invited to the next round as semi-finalists. Semi-finalists will be announced on Oct. 22.

PHASE 3: INCUBATION NOV. 2019 - JAN. 2020

Semi-finalists moving forward will be eligible for up to $60k in grants and $3M in contracts. They will join a virtual incubation cohort with access to mentors, review panels, expert speakers & real-world experimentation.

PHASE 4: EXPERIMENTATION & REFINEMENT FEB. - OCT. 2020

During this time all semi-finalists will work with Indigo staff and mentors to pilot their solutions on research acres and prepare for live demos at the BeneficialAg 2020 Conference. Post-BeneficialAg 2020, all semi-finalists will continue to refine their solutions and prep for the final contract stage.

PHASE 5: DEMONSTRATION JUN. 2020

All semi-finalists will demo at BeneficialAg 2020, an important multi-thousand attendee event that convenes stakeholders from across the supply chain to reimagine ag for people & planet. The winner in each category will receive a $20k grant to accelerate their work.

PHASE 6: AWARD OCT. 2020

Select finalists with scalable solutions will be eligible for up to $3M contracts by Indigo, all while maintaining business independence and IP rights to their solution.

Why participate in The Terraton Challenge?

Reward FAQs

What do you mean by incentives?

Innovative ways to communicate societal demand for these practices (e.g. carbon credits), mechanisms to connect demand with growers (e.g. markets, soil carbon monitoring platforms), methods for accounting environmental impacts (e.g. protocols), policies for encouraging practice change.

Can my proposal be country-specific? If so, are all country solutions applicable?

All countries are applicable, and solutions can be country-specific. Please note that the solution will be piloted and tested among growers in the U.S.

Do other ecosystem services beyond carbon sequestration count?

While the focus of this Challenge is on carbon sequestration and emissions reductions, we are open to entries that reward other ecosystem services.

Does my solution have to be explicitly a monetary payment to growers, or can it be another type of reward system?

We are open to other reward systems, if they achieve the goals of this Challenge.

What technologies are not within the scope of this Challenge?

Instructive tools for regenerative practices, non-monetary rewards such as publicity, and technologies included in the Accelerate and Quantify tracks.

Ready to apply for the Reward track?

Fill out the application below. Applications are due by October 1!

By registering, you acknowledge that you have read and agreed to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Explore the other tracks

Accelerate

Quantify

Overview

The Terraton Challenge is subject to contest rules, terms and conditions located here. The Terraton Challenge is made up of two separate contests: an initial screening contest (“Round One”) and a semi-finalist contest (“Final Round”). By submitting an application, applicants are enrolling in Round One only. The only potential prize for Round One is an invitation to participate in the Final Round, subject to additional terms and conditions, acceptance of which are required to participate in such Final Round. Submission of an application to Round One does not guarantee participation in the Final Round.  Only Round One winners are eligible to participate in the Final Round. Subject to additional terms, Final Round participants may be eligible for a chance to win a grant of up to $20,000.00 and one or more contracts with Indigo that may be worth up to $3 million in total. No purchase necessary to enter. Contests are void where prohibited.

 

Not ready to apply but interested in learning more?