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Nitrogen Management Pilot Project Opportunity for Corn Growers

Posted on 03/30/2017 at 08:00 AM by Iowa Corn

 

Corn growers who recently started practices that optimize nitrogen may qualify to be paid under a new type of credit program that has been funded by the USDA. This pilot program is available to corn producers in IA, IL, IN, KS, MI, MN, MO, NE, ND, OH, SD and WI and will pay qualifying producers to test a protocol designed to reduce nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. The program guarantees that qualifying producers are paid a minimum of $500 for participation. However, many operations could see substantially higher payments.

 

THE NEW NITROGEN MANAGEMENT PROGRAM IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE:

  • A SUCCESSFUL PILOT COULD CREATE A NEW REVENUE STREAM FOR PRODUCERS THROUGH NITROGEN EFFICIENCY CREDITS FOR THE CALIFORNIA MARKET.

  • THE PROGRAM IS DESIGNED TO REWARD PRODUCERS WHO INCREASE THE NITROGEN EFFICIENCY WITHOUT IMPACTING YIELD.

WHY NITROGEN MANAGEMENT?

  • IMPROVED NITROGEN MANAGEMENT CAN SAVE PRODUCERS ON INPUT COSTS.

  • REDUCING NITROGEN APPLICATION CAN LEAD TO A NUMBER OF ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS, INCLUDING A REDUCTION OF WATER POLLUTION AND THE RELEASE OF GREENHOUSE GASES.

  • PRODUCERS CAN IMPROVE NITROGEN APPLICATION EFFICIENCIES WITHOUT IMPACTING YIELDS.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

  • PRODUCERS MUST FIRST DETERMINE IF THEY ARE ELIGIBLE TO MEET THE GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR THE PROJECT, WHICH ARE OUTLINED BELOW.

  • CREDITS CAN BE GENERATED AFTER A GROWER HAS MADE A CHANGE TO THEIR NITROGEN MANAGEMENT PRACTICES THAT RESULTS IN FEWER N2O EMISSIONS.

  • N2O EMISSIONS ARE VERIFIED BY A THIRD PARTY AND SOLD ONTO A VOLUNTARY MARKETPLACE.

  • PROJECT DEVELOPERS ARE WORKING TOWARD MAKING THE CREDITS AVAILABLE TO BUYERS IN THE CALIFORNIA CAP-AND-TRADE PROGRAM.

WHAT ARE THE BASIC PROJECT ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS?

  • GROWING CORN OVER THE PAST Five YEARS IN CORN-CORN OR six YEARS IN CORN-SOY ROTATION.

  • PRODUCERS ARE STARTING TO IMPLEMENT, OR HAVE RECENTLY IMPLEMENTED SINCE 2013, NEW NITROGEN OPTIMIZING PRACTICES LIKE N VRT, ZONE MAPPING, SOIL TESTING, REMOTE SENSING, SLOW-RELEASE FERTILIZERS, the USE OF UREASE INHIBITORS, CHANGES TO NITROGEN SOURCE, AND OTHERS.

  • KEEPING GOOD RECORDS OF NITROGEN APPLICATIONS.

  • CURRENT NITROGEN MANAGEMENT ACTIVITIES SHOULD NOT BE THE RESULT OF ANY REGULATORY MANDATES.

WHAT ARE EXAMPLES OF APPROVED NITROGEN MANAGEMENT PRACTICES?

  • CHANGES IN N FERTILIZER APPLICATION RATE.

  • CHANGES IN N FERTILIZER TYPE (SYNTHETIC AND/OR ORGANIC FERTILIZERS).

  • CHANGES IN N FERTILIZER PLACEMENT.

  • CHANGES IN N FERTILIZER TIMING.

  • USE OF OTHER TECHNOLOGIES AND/OR PRACTICES THAT HAVE BEEN SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN TO REDUCE NITROUS OXIDE EMISSIONS.

REVENUE FOR LANDOWNERS

  • PRODUCERS WILL BE PAID TO TEST A NITROGEN MANAGEMENT PROTOCOL.

  • CORN PRODUCTION VARIES WITH SOIL TYPE, NUTRIENTS, LOCATION, WEATHER, AND OTHER FACTORS. THEREFORE, PAYMENT COMPARISONS BY ACREAGE ARE NOT ACCURATE AND WILL CHANGE FROM YEAR TO YEAR AND BY GROWER.

  • THE PROJECT DEVELOPER CAN HELP DETERMINE POTENTIAL PAYMENT LEVELS BASED ON YOUR SPECIFIC SITUATION.

WHAT INFORMATION DO I NEED TO PROVIDE?

  • CLIMATE SMART GROUP IS SERVING AS THE PROJECT DEVELOPER FOR THIS NRCS-FUNDED PROJECT.

  • CLIMATE SMART GROUP HAS OVER 7 MILLION ACRES UNDER CONTRACT IN CANADA FOR AGRICULTURAL CARBON CREDIT PROJECTS.

  • THE PROJECT DEVELOPER WILL COLLECT INFORMATION REGARDING FARM AND MANAGEMENT PRACTICES TO DETERMINE A BASELINE AND THEN TO DETERMINE ANY CHANGES TO N2O EMISSIONS.

  • DATA NEEDED INCLUDES INFORMATION REGARDING FERTILIZER APPLICATION, PLANTING AND HARVEST, CROP TYPE, ORGANIC AMENDMENTS, IRRIGATION, AND SPECIFIC LOCATION DATA FOR THE FIELDS BEING MONITORED.

  • TO HELP DETERMINE ELIGIBILITY, PRODUCERS CAN COMPLETE A SHORT ASSESSMENT QUESTIONNAIRE AT HTTP://CLIMATESMARTGROUP.COM/APPLY/.

  • COMPLETING THE ASSESSMENT QUESTIONNAIRE DOES NOT COMMIT YOU TO THE PROGRAM. ITS COMPLETION REPRESENTS A REQUEST FOR MORE INFORMATION ON YOUR PART AND ENABLES CLIMATE SMART GROUP TO ASSESS ELIGIBILITY AND POTENTIAL PAYMENTS.

  • AFTER COMPLETING THE QUESTIONNAIRE, A CLIMATE SMART GROUP ADVISOR WILL CALL YOU TO DISCUSS THE PROGRAM AND DETERMINE NEXT STEPS FOR PARTICIPATION IF YOU WISH TO PROCEED.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
BRAD MOHRMANN, K·COE ISOM
307-673-4535 OR BRAD.MOHRMANN@KCOE.COM
 

PROJECT PARTNERS:
K·COE ISOM
USDA
ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE FUND
CLIMATE SMART GROUP

This material is based upon work supported by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under number 69-3A75-16-016.
 

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