14 March, 2007


Information on developing soil carbon trading markets




Carbon may be one way to address concerns about climate change and environmental impacts.  Regional, state, and national and eventually international initiatives will be needed to achieve the critical mass to arrest the growth of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.  With the introduction of greenhouse gas emissions trading, farmers will also have a new source of income.  Carbon stored in soils reduces atmospheric levels of carbon, and the stored tons of carbon can be traded or sold as ‘carbon credits.’ 


Below are the functioning markets that I am aware of in the US and Canada.  I am interested in getting accurate information on other programs from around the world not included on this list that may be of benefit to others developing soil carbon trading programs.  Please provide details on sources and locations of information on any soil carbon trading programs that were not included on this list.


This document is an effort to enhance global communication on a very important conservation concern. Please consider it as a "work in progress" in which you can participate and offer suggestions and comments. Thanks for your help.


Don Reicosky


A list of functioning soil carbon markets and aggregators in the US


Chicago Climate Exchange - CCX

The Chicago Climate Exchange has shown to be the most reliable and influential carbon credits market that exists within the United States. Currently it is 100% voluntary, while other mandatory markets exist within Europe. The exchange was established in 2003 and just completed Phase 1 and has now entered Phase 2, which runs until 2010. CCX is the world’s first and North America’s only voluntary, legally binding rules-based greenhouse gas emission reduction and trading system.

Contact Information:



Chicago Climate Exchange
190 South LaSalle Street, 11th Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60603  USA

Phone: +01 (312) 554-3350
Fax: +01 (312) 554-3373


Pacific Northwest Direct Seed Association - PNDSA

The Pacific Northwest Direct Seed Association is a grower-based organization committed to increasing economical, direct seed farming systems in the Pacific Northwest, USA .

PNDSA is developing the protocol to aggregate CO2 from agricultural soil and developing offset emissions guidelines for growers and is taking a lead role to consolidate a position on Carbon Trading with a broad range of agriculture commodity groups and conservation farming organizations. PNDSA is working to develop a second generation carbon sequestration contract to aggregate approximately 400,000 acres.


Contact Information:






Pacific Northwest Direct Seed Association

2780 W. Pullman Road, Suite A,

Moscow, ID 83843 USA

Phone: 208-883-3645

Fax: 208-882-6406



The Iowa Farm Bureau - IFBF:

The Iowa Farm Bureau is working to aggregate carbon credits from Iowa and surrounding state’s farmers for sale on the Chicago Climate Exchange.


Contact Information:


Iowa Farm Bureau

Carbon Credit Aggregation Program

5400 University Ave.

West Des Moines, Iowa 50266  USA

Phone: 515-225-5431


National Farmers Union - NFU

The National Farmers Union is working to aggregate carbon credits for farmers from fourteen Midwest states for sale on the Chicago Climate Exchange.


Contact Information:




National Farmers Union, District of Columbia

400 North Capitol St. NWSuite 790
Washington, DC 20001  USA

Phone: 1-800-366-8331 Ext. 116

Phone: 202-554-1600
Fax: 202-554-1654

For More Information:
Dale Enerson - 800-366-8331 ext.116

The Delta Institute: - Illinois Conservation and Climate Initiative

As part of the Illinois Conservation and Climate Initiative, the Delta Institute is a certified aggregator for the CCX that allows farmers and landowners to earn greenhouse gas emission credits when they implement conservation tillage, methane capture or grass or tree plantings.


Contact Information:


The Delta Institute
53 West Jackson Boulevard Suite 230
Chicago, Illinois 60604   USA

Phone: 312-554-1909

For More Information:

William Schleizer
Delta Institute
Phone: (312) 554-0900 x 24

C-Green Aggregators Ltd  - Canada

C-Green Aggregators Ltd is now accepting applications for carbon credit contracts from minimum or no-till farmers for agricultural land in Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba for 2006 to 2010 and has begun selling carbon credits on the Chicago Climate Exchange.


Contact Information:



C-Green Aggregators Ltd

1560-2002 Victoria Avenue

Regina, Saskatchewan

S4P 0R7



Fax: 306-585-6660

other accredited offices:

Participating credit unions

CGF brokerage 1-800-667-6378

Canadian Association of farm advisors (Dave Anderson P.AG.) 306-221-2204

Agriculture Development Corp. (Brad Farquhar) 306-347-3015

Precision Ag Services 306-457-2220



Scientists at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology are leading an effort to create a carbon sequestration program in South Dakota. Tech’s Institute of Atmospheric Sciences administers a program, called C-Lock.  C-Lock provides an effective interface among farmers and ranchers who manage lands to sequester carbon, those in the private sector with the need to offset future emissions, and with regulatory agencies charged with ensuring compliance with national and international regulations.


Contact Information:




South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

501 East Saint Joseph Street

Rapid City, SD  57701 USA

Phone: 605-394-2511 or 800-544-8162


Forecon Inc. (Forecon):

Forecon is a multi-disciplinary forestry and natural resources company started in Jamestown, NY in 1954 and earned aggregator status for the CCX in September of 2006.  They assist their clients in capturing financial returns for forest investments associated with sequestered carbon from managed forest offset projects by developing and implementing strategies for evaluating, registering, verifying, reporting, and trading forestry offset carbon credits.  


Contact Information




Steve Ruddell 

Phone: 616-874-9934


National Carbon Offset Coalition, Inc. (NCOC)

The National Carbon Offset Coalition, Inc. is comprised of seven Montana non-profit corporations. NCOC provides a unique opportunity for landowners, public and private corporations, tribal, local, and state governments to participate in a market-based conservation program that can help offset the environmental impacts of greenhouse gases.

Contact Information



National Carbon Offset Coalition
305 W. Mercury, Room 408,
Butte MT 59701

Phone: 406-723-6262 or 406-491-4471 or 406-491-4472




AgCert ™ International plc was founded in 2002 to produce and sell reductions in greenhouse gas emissions (referred to as "offsets") from agricultural sources on an industrial scale. These offsets are intended to satisfy the requirements of the Kyoto Protocol and be capable of being traded on the European cap and trade system, the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme ("EU-ETS").

Contact Information:




Toenges,  Duane A.

AgCert USA Services

Office Phone: 319-373-5342

Cell Phone: 515-341-2774

E-mail: dtoenges@agcert.com



AgCert Services (USA) Inc.
1901 South Harbor City Blvd, Suite 400
Melbourne, Florida 32901 USA
Tel: +1-321-409-7800


The list of additional web sites for information on carbon sequestration.

Carbon Sequestration Site Listings

CarboEurope Cluster - working to advance the understanding of carbon fixation mechanisms and to quantify the magnitude of the carbon sources/sinks for a range of European terrestrial ecosystems.

Carbon Dioxide Sequestration in Geologic Media - investigations at the Bureau of Economic Geology, University of Texas at Austin.

Carbon Seqestration in Terrestrial Ecosystems (CSiTE) - established by the U.S. Department of Energy to perform fundamental research that will lead to acceptable methods to enhance carbon sequestration in terrestrial ecosystems.

Carbon Sequestration and Trading Implications for Canadian Agriculture - discussion paper coordinated by the Soil Conservation Council of Canada.

Carbon Sequestration in Agriculture: Value and Implementation - working paper accessing the value of carbon sequestration and carbon permit trading market.

Carbon Sequestration in Soils and Carbon Credits: Review and Development of Options for Semi-Arid and Sub-Humid Africa - USGS workshop proceedings.

CASFOR - European Forest Institute - project exploring carbon sequestration in afforestation and sustainable forest management.

Centre for CO2 Technology - University College London (United Kingdom) - established in response to the Kyoto Protocol and the recognition that existing technologies will not be able to meet the emission targets agreed upon for carbon dioxide.

CO2 Capture Project - aims to reduce the cost of CO2 capture from combustion sources and develop methods for safely storing CO2 underground.

Coal-Seq.com - ongoing project investigating the feasibility of CO2 sequestration in deep, unmineable coals. Field demonstrations are being performed in the San Juan Basin.

Earthbeat: Carbon Sequestration - transcript from Australia's Radio National.

Fuels Decarbonization and Carbon Sequestration Workshop - report exploring the management of carbon on a global scale.

Greenfleet - specializes in reducing the environmental impacts of transportation by planting native trees to offset current CO2 emissions.

Greenhouse Solutions and Carbon Sequestration - feature produced by Australia's Department of Conservation and Land Management.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Laboratory for Energy and the Environment - Carbon Sequestration Initiative (CSI) - industrial consortium that will support research on carbon sequestration.

Anthropogenic CO: The Natural Carbon Cycle Reclaims Center Stage - part of the U.S. National Report to International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics 1991-1994.

Carbon Cycle - traces the movement of carbon, in its many forms, between the biosphere, atmosphere, oceans, and geosphere.

Carbon Cycle, Climate, and the Long-Term Effects of Fossil Fuel Burning - Consequences article.

Carbon Cycle, The - from the online text Fundamentals of Physical Geography.

Hiilen Kierto - The Carbon Cycle - Kolets Kretslopp - Der Kreislauf des Kohlenstoffs - illustrates the occurrence of carbon in the natural world and the human impact on the carbon cycle.

NOAA Office of Global Programs - Global Carbon Cycle - program seeking to improve our ability to predict the fate of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) and future atmospheric CO2 concentrations using a combination of atmospheric and oceanic global observations, process-oriented field studies, and modeling.

Ocean Carbon-Cycle Model Intercomparison Project (OCMIP) - working to identify and understand differences between existing 3D global ocean carbon-cycle models and speed their development.

U.S. Carbon Cycle Science Program (CCSP) - investigates the rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration and its potential impact on future climate.

Understanding the Global Carbon Cycle - article from The Woods Hole Research Center.

USGS Global Change Research Program - Carbon Cycle Research - provides project summaries and reports.


 What is the Carbon Cycle? - describes the pathway that carbon takes as it is transferred from plant to animal to atmosphere to ocean and so on.



List of publications related to water and carbon trading programs.


Getting Paid for Stewardship: An Agricultural Community Water Quality Trading Guide 

Many agricultural producers already know the benefits of implementing conservation practices in their operations. Better soil, cleaner water and greater profits are just some of the advantages. What if producers could earn even more for those same conservation practices? It’s possible with water quality trading. This guide introduces the elements that are keys to the trading process, noting critical questions to keep in mind as you go.



Jackson, RB, EG Jobbágy, R Avissar, SB Roy, DJ Barrett, CW Cook, KA Farley, DC le Maitre, BA McCarl, and B C Murray. 2005. Trading Water for Carbon with Biological Carbon Sequestration. Science 310: 1944-1947.


C-Lock (Patent Pending): a System for Estimating and Certifying Carbon Emission Reduction Credits for the Sequestration of Soil Carbon on Agricultural Land . 2005. Technical paper for Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer Science and Business Media B.V., Volume 10, Number 2, p. 307-331.


Manley, J., Van Kooten, G.C., Moeltner, K., and Johnson, D.W. 2005. Creating carbon offsets in agriculture through no-till cultivation: a meta-analysis of costs and carbon benefits.  Climate Change 68:41-65.


The following book has a section that explores the potential for agricultural soils to generate soil carbon credits that could be traded in the broader greenhouse gas credit market.

Kimball, J. M., Rice, C. W., Reed, D., Mooney, S., Follett, R.F., and Lal, R. 2007. Soil Carbon Management: Economic, Environmental and Societal Benefits.  CRC press, Boca Raton, Florida. 288 pp.  Cat. #: 44079; ISBN: 9781420044072; Publication Date: 5/2/2007; Availability: Not Yet Published.