Two agtech startups have announced a partnership to provide farmers more access to their products.
Nori is an agtech startup building an independent, voluntary marketplace for carbon removal. Locus AG is a microbial “probiotics” startup, and its Rhizolizer biological technology has been shown to increase crop yields and soils’ ability to sequester up to 8.6 additional metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalents per acre annually over standard growing practices.
Farmers who work with Locus AG and Nori and have been practicing regenerative agriculture since on or after January 1, 2010 will receive and be able to sell their carbon credits.
“For farmers who have adopted regenerative practices such as reducing tillage, reducing fertilizer applications, adopting cover crops, there is opportunity in this program. We can generate carbon removal credits based on those practices,” says Christophe Jospe, chief development officer at NORI.
A rough estimate for carbon credits generated when using regenerative practices is one ton per acre per year and Nori is targeting 1 million tons of credits to be traded on its platform in 2020.
Locus AG’s introduced its Rhizolizer product as a high potency certified organic, cost-effective soil amendment.
“The agronomic benefits to farmers using Rhizolizer and participating in this program are substantial,” says Paul Zorner, Locus AG’s chief agronomist. Not only will they have higher crop yields, but they will now have an underground crop from which they can financially benefit in the 2020 crop season and beyond.”
According to Zorner, this program will help drive adoption of regenerative ag practices that at scale can help transform agriculture from a driver of climate change to an engine for reversing it.
The companies say the current market for carbon credits is $15 for every ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) sequestered and farmers that are enrolled in the program before March 15 will be guaranteed that price. After 2020, the price will be set by the open market.
Jospe says the program is able to use these “grandfathered credits” based on previous practices, and that Nori is basing its definitions from the COMET-Farm carbon and greenhouse gas accounting system supported by the USDA NRCS.
“We are working with companies like Locus AG and others that have relationships with farmers and understand the unique demand. And our partners can help farmers be rewarded for doing things that remove carbon,” Jospe says.
He explains the biggest buyers of carbon credits currently include the corporations and companies that have pledge voluntary carbon emission buybacks and committed to getting to net zero emissions by 2030.