Carbon Intensity Scores Provide New Opportunity

 In Empowering Farmers

Carbon Intensity (CI) scoring measures a farmer’s carbon footprint, and it accounts for factors like cash crop productivity, minimal tillage, and cover crops to build soil carbon stocks. Like it or not, knowing CI scores and how to improve them has never been as important as now looking toward future market opportunities.

Soon, farmers who deliver corn to ethanol plants may be required to know their CI scores due to the 45Z tax credit included in the Inflation Reduction Act.  It goes into effect January 1, 2025. 45Z offers ethanol plants a two-cent per gallon tax credit for every point they can get below 50 on their CI score. Ethanol plants simply cannot do this without traceability from farmers.

Farms with lower-than-average CI scores may receive a premium. While the regulations for 45Z are not yet released, expected premiums for farmers are estimated to be between 2 to 5 cents per bushel per point below the national average of 29.1. That would mean a net zero CI would be worth an additional $0.58 to $1.45 per bushel. To put that into perspective, 200-bushel corn means an additional $116 to $291 per acre.

Maximum Farming System clients are key candidates to be at the forefront of this opportunity. They have practices in place that provide optimal CI scores. The System overall supports natural processes that increase soil carbon by promoting the carbon cycle. This focus on creating growing conditions that optimize soil health and crop productivity will pay off for farmers in a big way if they have the data to verify their CI scores.

Soil Type and Management Zone (ST/MZ) sampling conducted by Maximum Farming System independent representatives, along with included Maximum Farming Reports, provide valuable information needed to calculate CI scores. Get started now to have the data when you need it.

Contact us to connect with your local representative.

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