It Pays to Certify
How to Make Carbon Intensity Work for You
What is Carbon Intensity Anyway?
When you hear businesses talk about their carbon footprint, what they’re really talking about is the amount of greenhouse gasses (such as carbon dioxide and methane) a company generates as part of their day-to-day operations. Primarily, these gasses come in the form of fossil fuel emissions from running machinery and combustion engines, but it can also be a side-effect of refining processes that release certain chemicals into the atmosphere.
The more carbon-based emissions it takes to produce an item, the higher its carbon intensity.
Carbon Intensity measures how much carbon-based energy goes into producing a single bushel of grain
Low Carbon Intensity = Higher Profitability
Finding out your Carbon Intensity Score is the first step in maximizing revenues. At Continuum, we do this through our innovate TopSoil platform, a simple-to-use technology that lets you forecast, record and evaluate the impacts of activities such as:
- Planting Cover Crops
- Implementing reduced or no-till
- Increasing crop yields
And while these are great metrics to know for any business, there are 2 ways commercial farms can leverage this information into profits.
Learn how to empower & monetize production data!
(click below for a free download)
Harvesting Profits with CI…
Farming production with low CI scored grain is more valuable and attractive to end users. For example; the CI score of 0.0 means that the bushel is net carbon neutral. Premium payments for lower carbon grains encourages growers to implement practices that lower carbon emissions and ultimately result in lower CI scores.
Once you know your score there are certain practices that can drastically lower your score. These variables will impact your score & can be estimated online via our CI Calculator Tool.
- Yield- higher yields spread emissions over more bushels, lowering the average score
- Plant a cover crop
- Implement reduced or no till
- Reduce inputs (NPK, fuel, and chemical)
In general, the more you compound these practices, the lower your CI score will be. The lower the score, the more value provided to the ethanol industry, allowing you the ability to negotiate a higher price for your grain.
Section 45Z Credits…
As influenced by the August 2022 passing of the Inflation Reduction Act, ethanol and other biofuel producers can earn substantial tax credits for lowering the carbon intensity of their fuels, Section 45z now assigns a direct value to a Carbon Intensity Score. This transparency allows growers to securely monetize their farm data by attaching its value to a farms production.
Section 45Z allows sizable tax credits to ethanol plants who consume low CI grains. The tax credit value to an ethanol plant is estimated to be $.054 cents per CI point below the industry estimated standard CI Score of 29.1.
Currently, grains contribute to about 50% of the carbon intensity of a gallon of biofuel. Farmers who reduce their corn’s CI Score below 29 are being sought after and paid for their low carbon crop and the data associated to prove the score.
Approval details are still being finalized by the IRS, however; it is anticipated that the majority of these premiums will be shared with producers. Sustainable sourced, “low CI grain” puts farmers in control and keeps an equitable balance of reward for carrying the risk.
Getting Started on TopSoil is as Easy as 1, 2, 3...