About Buckwheat Blossom Farm

Additional information about the Buckwheat Blossom Farm project can be found here.

Examples of pricing for carbon offsets paid by corporations are described. 

Examples of carbon farming protocols and vendors of agricultural carbon offsets are also described. 

  Contact us for more information or with your questions. 

What Are the Important Features of the Project to Know About?

1) The Buckwheat Blossom Carbon Farming project covers about 142 acres of land located in Wiscasset, Maine, USA. 

2) All farm operations are conducted with horse-power, eliminating fossil-fuel emissions.

3)The land consists of pastures, forests, wetlands, garden terraces, and agricultural fields.

4) The pasture is managed within the forests, known as silvopasture, providing a sustainable healthy diet for sheep while providing shade and soil moisture retention that regenerates soils.

5) The resulting lamb products are rich in taste and have a unique small farm texture and are available at the weekly Brunswick Farmers Market closing the loop on a local, sustainable and resilient supply chain.

6) The forest land is managed for conservation and fire-wood for home heating. The wetlands are 100% conserved.  

7) The terraced gardens produce flowers while the agricultural fields are used to grow vegetables for sale to the community.

8)The project initial term is 10-years, renewable for up to 30-years.

9) The goal of the carbon farming component is to ensure that the farm continues into the future, that might otherwise be used for tree harvesting, if the project did not occur.

10) While it is recognized that forests and carbon storage are not permanent, the cycle of tree growth occurs naturally creating ecosystems with lifetimes of over 100  years.

11) The farm has a 20-year history of eliminating fossil-fuel based operations. This is a very good example of how humans working with nature can create and ensure sustainability of ecosystems now and for future generations.


What Methods Are Used to Price Carbon and GHG Emission Reductions? How Do BBF Prices Compare with Other Prices?

1) The methods typically employed to price carbon and GHG assets are based on estimation and models.

2) Prices are based on a wide range of criteria including scientific soundness, permanence, scalability and governance.

3) Prices for carbon and greenhouse gas offsets range from less than $1 to $1,000+ typically without verification of direct measurement and relying on CO2 alone, without consideration of CH4 and N2O.

4) The Planet Alpha direct measurement approach and reliance on the best data for the social cost of greenhouse gas emissions are the basis for the Buckwheat Blossom Farm prices. 

5) The chart below shows recent pricing for a variety of offsets considered for purchased Stripe Inc.  Additional data for CO2 denominated pricing can be found here: https://carbonpricingdashboard.worldbank.org/.



How Does This Project Relate to National Initiatives to Develop Carbon Farming?

1) The project is responsive to recent national calls for carbon farming.

2) Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsak was the champion of the Growing Climate Solutions Act, legislation (passed Senate, 06/24/2021) that assist farmers, ranchers, and foresters understand and access carbon markets, helping the environment and boosting farm income at the same time.

3) Carbon farming offsets have also been criticized for being uncertain, not based on science, or just simply not supported by evidence that offsets sold actually have a quantifiable reduction or avoidance of GHG emissions.

4) The Buckwheat Blossom Carbon Farming project will rely on direct measurement at the farm of GHGs using gas analyzers and automated quality assurance software in addition to third-party verifiers.

5) The project also welcomes innovation emerging sensor technology using drones, imaging, machine learning an artificial intelligence to analyze data. 


How does the Planet Alpha DMFCP for Farms Compare with Other Farm Offset Programs?

1) Carbon farming offsets are relatively new but are of high interest to stakeholders.

2) The chart below summarizes the most popular carbon farming programs in the US. The Planet Alpha DMFCP is also included.

3) Note that the DMFCP is the only program to make actual, on-site, direct measurement of CO2, and the only program to also measure CH4 and N2O.

4) In addition, the DMFCP is the only protocol to base pricing for offsets on the social cost of each gas. 


Selected Agricultural Carbon Market Programs Operating in the United States



Greenhouse Gasses

Measurement Practice





Planet Alpha Corp. Direct Measurement Farm Carbon Protocol (DMFCP) [Flux based protocol in contrast to soil "pool" approach]

Any accessible location. Crops, agroforestry, silvopasture.  Minimum 100 acres. 10-year commitment, renewable indefinitely.

CO2, CH4, N2O (atmosphere and soil)

Direct on site gas monitoring for CO2, CH4, N2O, in the atmosphere and for soil locations.

Practices specific to production systems and geography.

Third-party validation and quality assurance software, excludes data on the fly. Visits to the farm are available. Land use practices are verified by certified forester at least annually, and/or, by remotely sensed vegetation data.

Two tiers: 1) Land use practice $750 /acre/year, 2) GHG flux, up to $750 tCO2e (acres/year) [pricing is based on social cost of GHGs^, offset agreement based on solar power financing model^^.


Bayer Carbon Initiative

17 eligible states. Min. 10 acres. Corn or soybeans. 10-year enrollment, then 10-year practice retention.

Carbon as soil carbon.

No direct gas measurements.

New no-till, strip till, or cover cropping (some credit for existing practices).

Bayer verifies practices based on data farmers upload to Bayer’s digital platform, Climate Field View, and satellite data.

Per acre/per practice, up to
$9/acre/year. Payments eligible for up to 5 years of past practices on/after January 1, 2012.

https://www.cropscience. bayer.com/who-we-are/ farmer-partner- resources/carbon- program/united-states

CIBO Impact

United States. Row crops. No min. acres. One-year commitment.

Carbon as soil carbon.

No direct gas measurements.

New cover crops, conservation tillage, no- till, strip till, crop rotation, reduced nitrogen.

CIBO verifies practices with satellite-based and AI- enhanced remote sensing, supplemented by interviews. CIBO quantifies GHG flux with computer modeling.

Per carbon credit, set at
$20/credit, sold on the CIBO marketplace. CIBO keeps 20% of sale price.


Corteva Carbon Initiative

In 2022: 11 U.S. states and 17 crop types. 5-year contract. 3-5 years of historical practice data.

Carbon as soil carbon.

No direct gas measurements.

New no-till, strip till, or cover cropping; increasing nitrogen efficiency; increasing crop diversity.

Climate Action Reserve verifies and issues carbon offset credits. Corteva and Indigo pay certification costs.

Per carbon offset credit. Indigo Ag sells the credits. Payment to farmer is based on sale price: minimums of
$15/credit, and 75% of sale price, to farmer. Payments vest over 5 years.


Ecosystem Services Market Consortium (ESMC)

Current pilots until anticipated 2022 launch: specific U.S. regions. No min. acres. 10-year contract.

Carbon as soil carbon.

No direct gas measurements.

Practices specific to production systems and geography.

ESMC certifies ecosystem credits based on its methodology.

Per specific ecosystem services provided (incl. additional carbon sequestered), based on ESMC analysis.


Farmers Business Network (Gradable Carbon)

United States. Min. 250 acres. Five-year contract.

Carbon as soil carbon.

No direct gas measurements.

New (or within prior two years) no-till, reduced till, cover cropping, diversified crop rotation, reduced

Gradable generates credits based on data farmers upload.

Per carbon offset credit (initial min. $20/credit). Farmers can wait up to 5 years to sell at contemporary market


Indigo Carbon

28 eligible states. Field crops. Min. 150 acres. 5- year contract.

Carbon as soil carbon.

No direct gas measurements.

New reduced-till or no- till, cover cropping (new, diversifying, or extending duration), reduced fertilizer use, rotation diversification.

Indigo determines carbon sequestration based on data farmers upload to Indigo’s digital platform, and some soil sampling. Independent carbon credit issuers (Verra, Climate Action Reserve) verify carbon credits.

Per carbon offset credit, (min. $15/credit). Indigo sells the credits and compensates the farmers. Payments subject to multi- year vesting requirements to ensure soil carbon and emissions levels are maintained over time.
Growers receive 75% or more of the credit sale price.


Farmers Edge (Smart Carbon)

Canada and certain U.S. states. No min. acres.

Carbon as soil carbon.

No direct gas measurements.

New cover crops, intercropping, no-till, reduced-till, nutrient management, direct seeding, crop rotation, crop diversification.

FarmersEdge determines carbon sequestration based on data automatically uploaded from fields to FarmCommand, its digital platform. Third-party verifier verifies the credits, which are then recorded with a carbon registry.

Per carbon offset credit (estimated $10/acre). Farmers Edge aggregates carbon offsets across producers, sells credits, and compensates farmers, retaining an administrative fee.

http://farmersedge.ca/ carbon


United States. Croplands not enrolled in the USDA Conservation Reserve Program since 2000, with historical practice data. No min. acres. 10-year contract.

Carbon as soil carbon.

No direct gas measurements.

Practices not specified. “Regenerative practices" adopted within the last 10 years, using Nori’s U.S. Croplands Methodology.

Farmer selects third-party verifier and pays verification costs.
Verification once every three years.

Nori issues "Nori Carbon Removal Tonnes" (NRT) certificates for farmers to sell in the Nori marketplace. 1 NRT = 1 ton CO2e stored for 10 years. Farmers receive total sale price, less a 15% transaction fee for Nori.


Nutrien Carbon Program

Pilot (as of 2021): United States (15 states) and Canada (3 provinces).
Expansion expected in 2022. Crops.

Carbon as soil carbon.

No direct gas measurements.

Under development. Nitrogen management, soil heath (low and no- till, cover crops).

Under development. Anticipated use of existing protocols. Nutrien’s Agrible sustainability
platform for data collection.

Per carbon offset credit. Framework under development.

https://www.nutrien.com/ sustainability/strategy/ feeding-planet- sustainably/carbon- program

Rabobank (Rabo Carbon Bank: Carbon Farming)

Pilot (as of 2021): United States and the Netherlands. Row crops, land with historical practice data.

Carbon as soil carbon.

No direct gas measurements.

Reduced/no tillage, reduced inputs, planting of cover crops, crop rotations, optimized grazing patterns, species composition, agroforestry.

Under development. In discussions with certification bodies to verify methodologies and validate carbon stock levels measured in the soils.

Per carbon offset credit. Anticipated $25-$50/credit, less a transaction fee for Rabobank.

https://www.rabobank.nl/ en/about-us/carbon-bank/ carbon-farming


This table adapted from: Agriculture and Forestry Offsets in Carbon Markets: Background and Selected Issues               11/3/2021 Congressional Research Service
Genevieve K. Croft, Katie Hoover, Jonathan L. Ramseur, Megan Stubbs
Notes: CRS identified more than 10 private agricultural carbon markets announced or in operation,       
and selected those in this table to exemplify various approaches. The different designs and         
requirements may result in different degrees of quality, including realness, permanence, leakage,       
and other characteristics discussed in the text.          
a.     One offset credit represents sequestration of one metric ton of carbon dioxide equivalent         
^ Technical Support Document: Social Cost of Carbon, Methane, (whitehouse.gov)      
^^ Solar Power Purchase Agreements | SEIA