One of the questions producers are starting to ask is if there is money to be made with soil health, carbon sequestration, and other ecosystem services.
There is a complex relationship between humans and the environment. Humans influence the environment and the environment provides humans with benefits, such as clean air, clean water, a stable climate, productive soils, etc. The services provided to humans by the environment are commonly referred to as ecosystem services. Working lands agriculture provides numerous ecosystem services to humans and the environment
For those who would like to learn more about navigating the emerging carbon markets, NDSU Bioproducts and Bioenergy Economist David Ripplinger will be addressing the subject at the upcoming Soil Health workshop and Williams County Ag Improvement Association annual meeting on Thursday, Jan. 20 at the Williston Research Extension Center.
Even if emerging carbon markets don’t appear attractive, any time you increase soil carbon, you are also increasing soil health and you are still investing in long-term improvements that can eventually provide returns in the form of higher yields, reduced input costs and improved soil resilience.
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service also recognizes that these emerging environmental markets could possibly be leveraged to help accomplish the agency’s mission of delivering conservation solutions so agricultural producers can protect natural resources and feed a growing world. While NRCS has been involved in environmental market activities since 2006, look for NRCS to offer expanded conservation program opportunities to support climate smart agriculture beginning in 2022.
NRCS’s environmental market activities are intended to support agricultural producers being compensated for providing society with the numerous ecosystem services that working land conservation practices provide. NRCS’s Working Lands Conservation Practices are entirely voluntary but are often complementary to environmental market objectives and could create a new revenue stream for farmers, ranchers, and landowners.
Those planning to participate in the Jan. 20th workshop are asked to pre-registration by Today. To pre-register, please contact the Williams County Soil Conservation District at 701-774-2319 or the NDSU Extension Williams County office at 701-577-4595. Full details on the workshop which begins at 9:00 am can be found at https://wmscoscd.com/