Farmers that don’t till their fields or take other steps that keep carbon in the ground, should soon be able to sell carbon credits at the Chicago Climate Exchange, The Billings Gazette reports. Industry insiders think that the CCX will soon allow Montana, Wyoming and Colorado farmers to bundle their carbon credits for sale.
American agriculture is looking to be a bigger player in sequestering carbon and selling credits, anticipating the day when the U.S. places a mandatory cap on carbon dioxide emissions and more corporations look for ways to buy credits to offset emissions.
Carbon compounds stay in the soil after plants die. When a plow runs through the soil, the carbon combines with oxygen in the area, releasing carbon dioxide.
So far, about 20 Montana farmers have shown interest in being part of the program. No one will get rich. Under current prices, a farmer could get $250 to $350 a year for 100 acres.
Farmers will have to go through an application process to verify that their operation meets standards set by the Chicago Climate Exchange.