Illinois farmer uses carbon market data to show others the benefits of regenerative practices

John Nergenah. Photo Credit: Locus AG

A west central Illinois farmer says enrolling in a carbon market program can help show the benefits of regenerative practices.

John Nergenah tells Brownfield they have been 100% no-till and cover crops for several years and while he believes in those practices, starting a carbon market program has put data behind them.

“Part of the reason that I started in carbon markets was to see the amount of work and all of the stuff that went into it (regenerative practices) and the amount of money that came into it. I think more farmers need to be no-tilling and cover cropping.”

He says he uses the benefits of Locus AG’s CarbonNOW program to incentivize other farmers to try regenerative practices.

“We get paid $9 an acre for doing the practices that we were already doing. If you allow them to do soil testing, then you get another $3 per acre. And if the soil testing shows you sequestered more carbon than they anticipated those practices to do then you can get paid additional for the sequestration.”

He says participating in carbon markets has been simple, but warns farmers that there is a learning curve when switching to no-till and cover crop practices.  

“I always say it isn’t harder management, it’s just different management and a different way of thinking about it all.”

Nergenah raises corn, soybeans, wheat and cattle in Morgan and Scott counties.

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