Welcome to the Farmers Union Carbon Credit Program

The goal of the Farmers Union Carbon Credit Program was to enhance the income of farmers and ranchers through economically successful and environmentally sound land management practices that reduce or offset carbon emissions.

After sending participating farmers and ranchers $7.4 million over the past five years, the North Dakota Farmers Union (NDFU) has decided to cease enrolling new contracts in the carbon credit program.

The program will continue to market the credits that are verified and registered for the 3,900 producers who have been in the program, but will not seek validation of new projects or credits after the 2010 vintage year. Under the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) protocols, farmers who voluntarily adopted land management practices that captured and stored carbon in the soil were able to sell credits to carbon-emitting members of the CCX.  However, the lack of legislation to address the Supreme Court ruling that the Environmental Protection Agency should regulate carbon dioxide has limited the viability of the United States’ voluntary carbon market.

Robert Carlson, NDFU President, said, “Carbon prices on the CCX peaked at about $7 per ton a couple of years ago, but now we are seeing an extended period of prices too low to be an incentive to farmers,” Carlson said.  “We will be marketing the tons from the contracts that are verified and registered, but it is not economically feasible to add any more.” Existing contract holders will be mailed a final accounting statement following the completion of 2010 verification. NDFU will continue to monitor markets and regulations and search for opportunities that provide farmers with financial incentives for voluntarily reducing carbon emissions. Carlson added, “Regardless of the future, we are proud of the innovative program that put money into the pockets of agricultural producers and their rural communities.”