Indigo Ag is launching The Terraton Initiative, an effort to sequester in soils 1 trillion tons (1 terraton) of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The plan aims to eventually pay farmers in this program $15 to $20 per ton of carbon that they sequester using tools like no-till and cover crops. Payments could tally an estimated $30 to $60 per acre, with the actual amount depending on soil type and the region’s climate, says David Perry, Indigo Ag chief executive officer.
“In April, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached an 800,000-year high,” says Perry. Currently, 415 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide exist in the atmosphere. Around 280 ppm was present in the preindustrial atmosphere. This translates into 135 ppm of carbon dioxide that was not in the atmosphere 250 years ago – 1 trillion tons. Atmospheric carbon dioxide is a factor in fueling climate change that keys extreme weather swings.
Perry says soils farmed in a regenerative manner can help sequester this carbon dioxide.
“Prior to land being cultivated for crops over 3.6 billion acres, soils on average contained 3% carbon. Now, that average is 1%,” says Perry. “If we took every cultivated acre on Earth and increased the carbon (content) from 1% to 3%, that also is 1 trillion tons of carbon dioxide. The size of the potential solution is equivalent to the size of the problem.”