According to a new Purdue survey, only 1% of farmers in the US have signed carbon farming contracts.
Despite the low numbers, however, the latest Ag Economy Barometer from Purdue University indicates a rise in interest among farmers in carbon farming with a 2% increase since 2021.
Thus, in January 2023, the number of respondents, who said they would be willing to get paid for adopting carbon farming practices on their land, went up from 7% to 9%.
Some experts say that the extremely low number of farmers that have actually signed contracts is hardly surprising, given the bad rep that carbon markets have garnered over the past few years.
Especially this year plenty of reports surfaced showing the ineffectiveness of carbon credits in having any real climate impact.
Moreover, the same reports said that carbon farming and similar projects designed to remove CO2 from the air proved to be more beneficial to corporations looking to offset their emissions rather than the farmers and project owners.
On the one hand, many farmers are required to make significant investments in order to participate in carbon credit schemes, such as paying for the measurement of CO2 in the soil, and not to mention the time and effort necessary to collect and present other relative data.
Operational changes that are typically needed for practices like cover cropping are another cost that farmers have to reckon with right off the bat.
As a result, they often find that the cost of the matter greatly outweighs the benefit, particularly when paired with the rather low payments per acre that make it even more difficult to justify the paperwork and expenses.