That was the question that Farm Journal’s Trust In Food™ set out to answer in its inaugural “Ready or Not? Ag Carbon Markets and U.S. Farmers” report, highlighting perspectives from 500 U.S. row crop producers on pathways and barriers to participating in carbon ecosystems.
The majority of farmers surveyed report serious concern about overcoming technical and financial roadblocks to success in carbon markets. In addition to more fundamental warning signs, producers fear that costs will outweigh benefits; that ongoing compliance will require too high a burden; that existing conservation ag practices will not be compensated fairly; that data will not be handled appropriately or will be difficult to collect; or that upfront investments will be a barrier to entry. More than half of farmers surveyed labeled each respective concern a “significant” challenge to carbon market entry.