May 2023 ESMC Newsletter
Announcing our 2022 Annual Report
We successfully launched our market program, Eco-Harvest, in May 2022, which was the culmination of many years’ collective work coming to fruition. Our ambitious goal to launch a producer-focused ecosystem services market program was achieved through diligent year-to-year progress and accomplishments.
I invite you to review our 2022 Annual Report which highlights our major accomplishments last year. In addition to Eco-Harvest market program launch, we expanded our project regions and crops, announced a roadmap with General Mills, and continued a valuable partnership with SustainCERT.
Eco-Harvest is the science-based, standards-based market program we envisioned. But there is so much more to do. We look forward to expanding and enlarging our timeline to show how Eco-Harvest projects create measurable greenhouse gas reductions/removals as well as other ecosystem services outcomes for regenerative agriculture.
Thank you for your continued support as we move forward with these goals.
Join the ESMC/ESMRC Team
ESMC/ESMRC is hiring a Policy and Engagement Manager. This is an excellent opportunity to join our dynamic and growing team. Read more and apply.
Look for ESMC At…..
The Future of Food USA, May 31 – June 1; Minneapolis, MN
This two-day business conference will bring together leading brands and key stakeholders to identify the main areas of opportunity and innovation within the food and beverage industry. Participants will discuss what supply chain transformation means on the ground to ensure more resilient and regenerative food systems. ESMC’s Jack Jeworski is attending this week. Read more on the event.
ESMC Member and Funder News
AgriCapture Receives First Carbon Credits in Texas History for Grasslands Conservation
PR Newswire (May 30)
AgriCapture was issued the first-ever avoided grasslands conversion carbon credits in Texas through a partnership with the property’s landowner and the Texas Agricultural Land Trust (TALT) to protect soil carbon and ensure that the property’s native grasslands will not be converted. “We believe this bellwether project could result in future carbon credit revenue streams for agricultural landowners in Texas and beyond,” said TALT CEO Chad Ellis. “We are excited about what these new carbon markets will mean for working lands families, and we look forward to sharing our learning with landowners as this project progresses.” Chad Ellis is the ESMC Board Chair. Read the full announcement.
Cargill Expands Regenerative Agriculture Program to Europe
AgWired (May 23)
Cargill, an ESMC Founding Circle member, is moving its award-winning regenerative agriculture program into Europe, allowing farmers in Germany, Poland, Romania, and France to receive financial compensation for adopting climate-friendly farming practices. Read the full article.
Biden-Harris Administration Announces Availability of $500 Million for Improved Regional Conservation Partnership Program to Better Support Partners, Producers as Part of Investing in America Agenda
USDA (May 19)
The Biden-Harris Administration recently announced the availability of $500 million in funding to advance partner-driven solutions to conservation on agricultural land through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). RCPP leverages a voluntary approach to conservation that expands the reach of conservation efforts and climate-smart agriculture through public-private partnerships. USDA is an ESMC funder. Read the full announcement.
Soil Health Practices Boost Profits for Farmers
Successful Farming (April 26)
Does it pay to put soil health practices that can sequester carbon to work? That’s the question the Soil Health Institute (an ESMC Legacy Partner member) set out to answer when staff members interviewed 100 farmers in nine states who had been practicing no-till, using reduced tillage, or growing cover crops for at least five years. After conducting a partial budget analysis of the economic data gathered from the farms, SHI found that the answer to the question was a resounding yes: Implementing soil health practices can indeed be profitable. Read the full article.
Other News of Note
Environmental Platform Urges More Than 1,600 High-Emitting Firms to Disclose Data
Reuters (May 30)
More than 1,600 companies identified by non-profit platform CDP as having the biggest impact on the environment are not disclosing environmental data, it said as it launched its latest campaign to get firms to provide the information. Read the full article.
Millets — Ancient Drought-Resistant Grains — Could Help the Great Plains Survive Climate Change
KOSU/NPR (May 24)
The United Nations has declared 2023 the International Year of Millets — a type of small grain mostly grown in parts of Asia and Africa. The highly resilient and cost-friendly grains could make them the next crop for U.S. farmers in the midst of climate change. Read the full article.
What Businesses Need to Know About the SBTN’s New Guidance for Setting Freshwater Science-Based Targets
Quantis (May 24)
Though water is a critical natural resource that’s central to nearly every stage of the value chain, it’s a major blind spot for many companies. Few are taking sufficient action to reduce their dependencies and impacts, opening themselves up to significant risk. To help companies reduce their impacts on freshwater, manage associated risks and bolster their climate efforts, the Science Based Targets Network (SBTN) has released new guidance for setting science-based targets for freshwater. Read the full article.
Pricing Nature: Can ‘Biodiversity Credits’ Propel Global Conservation?
GreenBiz (May 23)
Backed by the UN, an alliance of conservationists and policymakers is devising new ways to finance the preservation of biodiversity by placing economic values on ecosystems. Some analysts say such schemes have the potential to boost conservation, but others are skeptical. Read the full article.
Bill Incentivizes Use of Cover Crops
AgNet West (May 23)
Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and several state representatives introduced bipartisan legislation to incentivize farmers to plant cover crops to help boost environmental conservation. The Conservation Opportunity and Voluntary Environment Resilience Program (COVER) Act would provide farmers who plant cover crops a crop insurance discount of $5 per acre. It will also lower the long-term cost of crop insurance by making the Pandemic Cover Crop Program permanent, authorizing additional funding for technical assistance in accessing the Good Steward Cover Crop Program, and creating a Soil Health Pilot Program. Read the full article.
Global Carbon Market in Turmoil After Zimbabwe Grabs Offset Money
Bloomberg (May 18)
A government claiming half the revenue from privately-backed efforts to protect forests and cut emissions might throw carbon credit projects around the world into doubt. Read the full article.