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MTM Carriers Case Study

With 45z tax credits for low Carbon Intensity crops set to go into effect in January of 2025, more and more farmers are taking a look at how lowering the carbon footprint of their crops not only can increase yield, but also generate additional revenue off the same acreage.

Our 2023 Dirty Glove Award Winners – MTM Carriers outside Iowa City, IA – achieved an amazing -15.2 CI Score by implementing a few simple practices… a nearly 45-point improvement over traditionally farmed corn with an industry-standard score of 29.1

Farm Profile:

MTM Carriers is a row crop operation located in Southeast Iowa. They produce corn and soybeans. Most of their crops are sold in the Muscatine or Cedar Rapids market.

  • App. 1,200 acres 
  • 50/50 rotation 
  • Integrated livestock operation 
  • Average corn yield: 120,000 bushels 
  • Average bean yield: 30,000 bushels

CI-Lowering Strategies Currently in Place: 

  • Swine manure application for nearly all corn acres 
  • Cover crops (cereal rye) 
  • Reduced commercial fertilizer usage 
  • No-till / minimal-till practices 

Why They Did It: 

“We initially began making changes to our farming practices to improve soil health and increase yields,” shares Ryan Oberman and Lane Yoder who oversee the operation. “We had heard from other farmers that practices like cover crops were helping them get better production and better yields, and we wanted to see what kind of gains we could make ourselves.” 

They had also heard about the upcoming tax credits and were able to see that low-carbon corn could have applications in biofuels, but also potentially in low-carbon pork and beef production and other industries.

Why They Work with Continuum: 

“If you’re just starting with regenerative farming practices, it’s helpful to have experienced people there to guide you through it,” said Oberman and Yoder. “It eliminates guesswork and lets you see results faster.”

Continuum also provided the TopSoil platform that helps the company monitor usage of manure and fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, cover crops, tilling procedures, irrigation, and more – on a field-by-field basis to evaluate results. 

It was actually one of Continuum’s agronomists that suggested the C&R team have their CI score evaluated because of how well they were able to incorporate multiple soil health and carbon-lowering initiatives.

Their Advice: 

“Talk to merchandisers and have the conversation about what low-carbon crops with a verified score can mean financially for all involved. It’s set for January 2025, so the time to act is now.”

Ryan Oberman

“We wanted to improve our soil health and increase yields. So start there – whether you’re fully comfortable with the idea of CI scores or not. However, if you care about improving your soil health, the CI score is destined to follow.”

Lane Yoder