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Brief: ‘Low ROI’ still the top reason farmers won’t engage in carbon projects, says Purdue survey

For the Jan. 2024 Barometer report, 8% of respondents said they have discussed carbon capture and carbon contracts with a company.

While Purdue did not state specific reasons behind the numbers, cost is most likely the biggest reason for the single-digit percentage of producers interested in carbon.

Read the entire article: Brief: ‘Low ROI’ still the top reason farmers won’t engage in carbon projects, says Purdue survey

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The latest Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer report reveals that nearly 10% of farm producers are engaged in discussions about carbon capture, a statistic consistent with previous years. However, low adoption rates persist, attributed to the economic and logistical burdens imposed on farmers by carbon sequestration programs.

The report, which gathers data from US agricultural producers through monthly surveys, indicates that in the January 2024 report, 8% of respondents had discussed carbon capture and contracts with companies. While Purdue did not explicitly state reasons for these figures, the cost is presumed to be a significant deterrent, with half of the farmers surveyed in a recent McKinsey report citing “low ROI” as the primary reason for non-participation in carbon programs.

Agricultural carbon credits represent over 1% of total carbon credits issued. Most producers in Purdue’s January 2024 report reported being offered payment rates for carbon of less than $10 per metric ton, with only 12% offered rates of $30 per metric ton.

Farmers have expressed dissatisfaction with payment rates, stating they need to justify the additional expenses associated with compliance and other tasks related to carbon programs. Purdue notes that the 8% engagement rate among farmers is consistent with data from previous years, indicating ongoing interest. Reviewing data from nine barometer surveys conducted between 2021 and 2023, Purdue found that the percentage of producers discussing carbon contracts with companies ranged from 2.6% to 9%, suggesting sustained interest over time.

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