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Another 'Cash Crop' for Iowa: Carbon Credits

March 14, 2008

Des Moines, IA – Many Iowa farmers are already using no-till farming practices and have land set aside in conservation programs, but there's an additional way those acres could be making more money.

The new kind of "cash crop" for Iowa farmers who already use environmentally-friendly practices is the Farmers Union Carbon Credit Program, and Guy Rusche with the National Farmers Union is holding a seminar today in Atlantic for farmers interested in learning more. He says most of them won't have to lift a finger to receive cash from carbon credits on the Chicago Climate Exchange, because they already use such practices.

"Most of the conservation practices applied in the Conservation Security Program, for example, are likely all eligible acres and activities."

Rusche says carbon credits are earned based on how much reduction there is in carbon emissions. He says the idea is in its infancy, but many farmers are already expressing interest.

"Frankly, it's a pretty easy sell. It's becoming more and more popular with each month that goes by."

Rusche says credits are usually issued at a rate of .4 ton of carbon per acre and right now carbon is selling for $4.50 per ton.

More information on carbon credits is available at

Dick Layman/Don Mathisen, Public News Service - IA