Calgary (Rural Roots Canada) – Nutrien has launched a comprehensive carbon program in the three prairie provinces.
The program set to be piloted in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba will provide sustainable products and solutions, year-round dedicated agronomic counsel, and a digital platform to track and measure sustainability and carbon performance.
President and CEO Chuck Magro says this program is the first of its kind.
“It’s an end to end carbon management program where we’re going to use all of our products and services,” Magro said.
Magro said they have 4000 agronomists and some of the more recent technology that we’ve acquired over the last couple of years to help farmers use the products and services to reduce their carbon emissions and sequester carbon.
“We’re going to help them facilitate a journey to monetize their efforts and get paid to reduce their carbon footprint.”
Magro points to the fact that it is estimated there will be 10 billion people on the planet by the year 2050, and agriculture and modern farming practices are absolutely essential to feed the planet, but they are a contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.
He says about two years ago, they wanted to really study the effects of agriculture and how they as a company could make a difference and really roll up and tackle climate change, and this is the result of those years of work.
“I think the thing that we like the most about this program, of course, is it is an open platform program. So we are actually going to have other channel partners, who either bring technology to the table or be really important members of buying and selling the carbon credits.”
Magro says after studying it for a number of years, they felt the best way to tackle it is to create a carbon economy and use capitalism to create a market for carbon.
He says farmers are going to benefit from being a part of it.
“We want the majority of the value to flow to farmers around the world because they’re on the front lines of this. It’s their land that we need to keep healthy and sustainable, and if they do good work in terms of reduction of emissions or sequestering carbon, the majority of the value should flow to them, and that’s how this program is built and designed.”
On top of the prairie provinces, the program is also being piloted in the US Corn Belt (Ohio and Illinois), US Northeast (Chesapeake Bay), and other key US cropping regions, with plans to scale to South America and Australia in the years ahead.
In 2021, the program will benefit 10,000 acres of land in Canada and 30,000 acres in the US, scaling to an additional 10,000 acres in Canada and 150,000 acres in the U.S. in 2022.
Since they announced the program, they’ve had dozens of more farmers call the company and want to participate in the program.
Magro says they are now almost fully subscribed to that one hundred thousand acres.
“There’s a huge willingness, I think farmers understand that there’s a great opportunity for them to continue to be strong stewards of their land, but also to make some money while doing it.”