New partnership set to generate credits for US farmers across 40 million acres

By Oliver Morrison

- Last updated on GMT

Image: Getty/gacooksey
Image: Getty/gacooksey

Related tags soil health cabon credit

Three groups are collaborating in South Texas to connect landowners engaged in nature-based carbon capture with a network of carbon credit buyers. The project will boost soil health and grower incomes, they announce.

EarthOptics provides soil data measurement and mapping technologies to help farmers make more informed decisions about soil health and management. Grassroots Carbon is a company that helps US ranchers earn income from high-quality soil carbon drawdown credits by implementing and maintaining regenerative land management practices. The South Texans’ Property Rights Association (STPRA) represents property owners across 35-40 million acres.

The three groups have come together to announce a collaboration to connect landowners engaged in nature-based carbon capture with EarthOptics’ soil carbon measurement services, Grassroots Carbon’s soil carbon credit generation platform and vast network of carbon credit buyers.

Participating landowners will be able to profit from additional carbon storage via nature-based capture of atmospheric carbon dioxide in the healthy soils of farms and ranches. The voluntary carbon market encourages corporations to purchase these high-quality carbon offsets to reduce their carbon impact and reach their sustainability goals. This gives landowners the opportunity to benefit by quantifying their additional stored soil organic carbon, creating a new revenue stream for their operation.

STPRA said it has sought economic opportunities for its members who were engaged in sustainable land practices, producing healthy soils and ecosystems. STPRA selected Grassroots Carbon – which offers a high-quality turnkey soil carbon credit process for landowners, and EarthOptics, which conducts precise soil carbon measurement and data verification.

The environmtal and financial benefits of carbon storage

The partnership helps address financial barriers as landowners enter the carbon market, said WW ‘Whit’ Jones III, fifth-generation rancher, chairman of the board at South Texans’ Property Rights Association, and Assistant Manager of Jones Ranch LLC.

“We want to put dollars back to the bottom line of the ranch and enhance our sustainability management practices, like letting the land rest,” he said. “When we are rewarded financially for our carbon storage it means we don’t have to graze as hard, we can manage pastures with a long-term view, and still come out a few dollars ahead at the end of the year.”

Based in San Antonio, Texas, Grassroots Carbon is a leading grasslands restoration and soil carbon storage company aiming to empower ranchers to implement regenerative land management practices. In addition to enhancing soil health, promoting biodiversity, and improving water quality, it says these regenerative practices have tremendous potential to combat climate change by drawing down large quantities of atmospheric carbon dioxide into the soil..

EarthOptics is a agricultural technology company building what it calls the world’s first soil ‘Cloud’. It is developing next generation sensors and algorithms to characterize soil properties at scale. The company believes soil health and below-ground precision is foundational to a sustainable food system. It is focused on delivering actionable point-of-care insights on the physical, chemical, and biological attributes of soil.

The 35-40 million acres known as South Texas has the potential to take in 25 million tonnes of carbon each year while seeing soil health expand across the region. (One metric ton of carbon is equivalent to the emissions of a car driving 2,500 miles). Grassroots Carbon has paid ranchers $5 million since 2021 to support the implementation of regenerative practices that store additional soil carbon and restore grassland health and ecology.

“Nature-based solutions give my family an opportunity to monetise our commitment to taking care of the land,” said James Clement, sixth-generation rancher, board member with STPRA and senior vice-president and general manager of grass and rangeland at EarthOptics. “We see improved soil health and boost our ranch productivity all while generating income through carbon credits. We believe soil carbon credits can help families hold onto their legacy ranches and the Texas ranching traditions.”

The three organisations say they are confident the model will be replicated in other regions.

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