U.S. Agricultural Cooperative CHS to Pay Members to Enroll in Bayer’s Carbon Farming Program

By Karl Plume

(Reuters) – Agricultural seeds and chemicals supplier Bayer AG is expanding its carbon cultivation program to members of the U.S. agricultural cooperative CHS Inc, strengthening incentives for members to participate in the program, the companies said on Wednesday.

The deal will make it easier for 75,000 CHS member farmers to enroll in Bayer’s Carbon program, one of the first to encourage farmers to capture carbon by planting off-season crops by tilling the soil less. and using fertilizers more efficiently.

It is also expanding the program from 17 states to 21, the companies said.

The Bayer Carbon program pays growers up to $ 9 an acre for planting cover crops and reducing tillage. Farmers in the program register their practices on digital platforms to generate a carbon credit.

Farm businesses use the credits to offset the climate impact of other parts of their operations or sell them to businesses looking to reduce their own carbon footprint.

It is the latest collaboration between large agricultural companies rushing to list acres for carbon sequestration or atmospheric scavenging warming carbon underground, and environmental credit trading programs.

Some farmers have embraced carbon programs as a welcome new source of income and a potentially powerful tool in tackling climate change. Others expressed suspicion that companies would collect agricultural data that would be used to sell them more products.

The CHS will pay its members an additional $ 3 an acre to enroll in the Bayer program and purchase certain products such as “improved efficiency fertilizers.” Payments will be distributed in the fourth quarter of 2022, the CHS said.

(Report by Karl Plume in Chicago, edited by David Gregorio)

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