Home » USB Carbon Toolbox » Introduction to Carbon » Preparing for a Carbon Program


The following questions can help inform your decision when evaluating if you would like to participate in a carbon program.
Before you start evaluating programs, you can begin by answering these questions specifically about your carbon activities.

  1. What is the long- and short-term vision for your farm? Do you have goals that you are trying to achieve on your farm?
  1. Can soil health practices help you achieve your farm’s vision?
  2. What practices are you currently using on your farm?
  3. What new practices are you considering implementing on your farm?
  4. Are the new practices you are considering feasible for your short- and long-term vision?
  1. How much will it cost you to implement new practices?
  2. What other costs are involved and who covers them? (e.g., Equipment, Farm Management Software, Audits/Verification costs)
  3. How much do you need to be paid for this to be worthwhile?
  1. How long do you have control of the land you operate?
  2. If you have landlords, how open would they be to integrating new practices? Would they be open to formally agreeing to allow a carbon project?
  3. Do you have land where you can reasonably make a multi-year commitment to conservation practices like reduced tillage or cover cropping?
  4. Based on your lease agreement, who will own the carbon credits generated?
  1. How do you track your farm management? Are your records digital or available to scan or print as PDF to upload into a system?
  2. Do you use a digital farm management system to log planting, harvest, tillage, fertilizer applications?
  3. Have you mapped digital field boundaries (e.g., Ag Leader SMS, Climate Field View, John Deere Operations Center)?
  4. How far back do your records go?
  5. Are you comfortable sharing your farm data with a carbon program?
  1. What programs are available in your area?
  2. What programs are actively enrolling farmers?
  3. What drives your interest in a carbon program (e.g., covering the costs of implementing conservation practices, easing a transition to new practices, preserve long-term productivity, reduce input costs)?