The Ecosystem Services Market Consortium (ESMC), SLM Partners, and Carbon Yield are pleased to announce a project to reward corn and soy farmers in Illinois and Michigan for conservation practices that result in measurable climate impacts. The project will test and streamline the creation and sale of environmental credits from organic farming systems – ESMC’s first project focused solely on organic farming systems. In 2022, the project enrolled over 2,700 acres of organic corn and organic soybean crops.
Participating farmers are implementing practices – including tillage reduction, nutrient management, cover crops, and conversion of cropland to grassland – that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and increase soil carbon. Outcomes from these practices will form the basis of Scope 3 soil carbon removals and reduced GHG credits that can be sold within a supply shed. Once producers are enrolled in ESMC’s Eco-Harvest program, ESMC quantifies credits and arranges third party credit verification by a global certification body, SustainCERT. Corporate buyers can purchase these verified credits to help meet their supply chain sustainability targets.
SLM Partners uses investment capital to scale up regenerative agriculture and forestry. In the US, SLM Partners is focused on organic-certified farming. Their core strategy is to acquire conventional cropland and partner with local farmers to convert the land to organic production. The acreage in this project is on land acquired by SLM Partners who help producers participate in, and gain the benefits from, ecosystem services markets like ESMC’s. Carbon Yield, a company that provides farmers with a support platform to enable transitions to regenerative agriculture, is providing producer enrollment and data collection for this project. ESMC’s Executive Director Debbie Reed stated, “As we continue to build out our Eco-Harvest program scope and scale, we are excited to launch our first organic systems pilot project. Converting conventional agricultural systems to organic systems is a huge investment for producers. Working with our partners, SLM Partners and Carbon Yield, we are excited to reward growers for the measured outcomes from conservation practice adoption in organic systems.”