Ohioans get extra credit in carbon trade

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SALEM, Ohio – There’s even more benefit for Ohio farmers in the National Farmers Union’s carbon credit selling program.
Exchange. Farm and Dairy reported Oct. 12 about the new program (Farmers can cash in on Farmers Union’s carbon credit selling program, Page A16), which lets farmers sell carbon credits through the Chicago Climate Exchange to Fortune 500 companies who need to offset their emissions.
The Chicago Climate Exchange works on the same principles as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange or Chicago Board of Trade, where most farmers sell their commodities. Farmers contract to sell carbon credits on their property, and earn income based on the acres they have enrolled.
Credits can be sold by those doing no-till cropping, long-term grasslands, forestry, and other practices.
These practices help store or “sequester” carbon and reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Extra pay. Dale Enerson, who’s helping administer the national program through the North Dakota Farmers Union, said farmers from selected counties in Ohio can qualify for extra benefits if they enroll before Nov. 3.
Those counties include Adams, Allen, Auglaize, Brown, Butler, Champaign, Clark, Clermont, Clinton, Crawford,
Darke, Defiance, Delaware, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Hamilton, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Highland, Logan,
Lucas, Madison, Marion, Mercer, Miami, Montgomery, Morrow, Ottawa, Paulding, Pickaway, Preble, Putnam, Sandusky, Seneca, Shelby, Union, Van Wert, Warren, Wood and Wyandot.
The remainder of the state is expected to qualify by the end of December.
Qualify. Farmers who sign up for the program by Nov. 3 qualify to have their credits marketed in 2007.
Farmers and landowners who sign up after Nov. 3 can’t cash in their contracts until 2008, Enerson said.
In addition, farmers who sign up before the cutoff also can qualify to sell credits earned in 2005 and 2006 for no-till farming and long-term grass plantings, Enerson said.
Continuous enrollment is offered after Nov. 3.
Details. For a map of eligible counties or more information, visit www.nfu.org and click on ‘Carbon Credits’ or call 800-366-8331.
(Reporter Andrea Myers welcomes reader feedback by phone at 800-837-3419 or by e-mail at amyers@farmanddairy.com.)

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