From Kansas State University's:

Consortium for Agricultural Soils Mitigation of Greenhouse Gases (CASMGS)


Charles W. Rice, K-State Department of Agronomy, National CASMGS Director

(785) 532-7217

Scott Staggenborg, K-State Department of Agronomy (785) 532-7214

Steve Watson, CASMGS Communications (785) 532-7105



November 16, 2007

No. 58



* CASMGS December Forum: Agriculture’s Role in the New Carbon Economy



* New signup period for Carbon Credit Program



* Climate change work honored with Nobel Peace Prize

* National Association of Wheat Growers Vice President Supports Carbon Market Bill










Producers, policymakers, regulators, and others interested in the rapidly changing field of climate change policy, carbon credit trading, and biofuels will want to attend an important forum in December on these topics at Kansas State University.


“Agriculture’s Role in the New Carbon Economy” is the title of the forum to be held December 17-18 at K-State’s Alumni Center in Manhattan, according to forum organizer Chuck Rice, professor of agronomy at K-State and national director of the Consortium for Agricultural Soils Mitigation of Greenhouse Gases (CASMGS).


Some of the topics at the forum include:


* Nitrous oxide monitoring in agriculture

* The COMET model and scaling up issues

* Comparison of carbon measuring techniques
* Cap-and-Trade: Is federal legislation coming?

* Economics of the existing ethanol industry adopting cellulosic technology
* Resource assessment needs, sustainability issues, and life-cycle standards associated with biofuels development
* Modeling the impact of cellulosic ethanol production on soil carbon

* Environmental impact of climate change on Kansas
* California’s Global Warming Solutions Act: How does it impact agriculture?


“Policymakers at both state and federal levels are becoming more interested in taking some kind of action on climate change, and agriculture needs to make sure it is involved in the discussion. There are many ways agriculture can be part of the solution, such as soil carbon sequestration and biofuels production,” said Rice.


“It’s also important to know how climate change could affect agriculture in Kansas in the future. We’ll be discussing these topics at this forum.”


The CASMGS Forum begins at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, December 17 and concludes the following day at 5:00 p.m. The registration fee is $125, if registration is made by December 10, and $175 after that time. The banquet on Monday evening and lunch on Tuesday afternoon are included in the registration fee.


To register, or for more details, see:










The Carbon Credit pilot project offered by the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) has recently opened a new signup period. CCX has given approval for aggregators to write contracts for no-till and seeded grass beyond 2010, which was the formal end of the previous phase of the pilot project.


The contract for the current signup period is for the 5-year period of 2008-2012, with the option to cover 2007. Producers who sign up their acreage into the program during the current signup period must agree to maintain their land according to contract provisions for the entire contract period in order to be eligible to receive payments. The deadline for the current signup period is Sept. 15, 2008.


There are three types of programs for soil carbon offset credits in Kansas:


1. Conservation tillage


The enrollment criteria are included in the map below.


A. Eastern Kansas counties are now eligible for a carbon credit of 0.6 metric tons of CO2 per acre per year for conservation tillage for the years 2008-2012.


B. In central Kansas, producers are eligible for a carbon credit of 0.4 metric tons of CO2 per acre per year for conservation tillage on dryland acres, and 0.6 metric tons of CO2 per acre per year for conservation tillage on irrigated acres for the years 2008-2012.


C. In western Kansas, producers are eligible for a carbon credit of 0.2 metric tons of CO2 per acre per year for conservation tillage on dryland acres, and 0.6 metric tons of CO2 per acre per year for conservation tillage on irrigated acres for the years 2008-2012.


General eligibility criteria and practices for the region include but are not limited to the following:


* Enrolled acres may be planted in soybeans no more 50 percent of the enrolled years;

* Continuous cotton and soybeans are eligible only if there is a cover crop.

* Eligible implements include: no-till drill, no-till and strip-till planters, rolling harrows, low disturbance liquid manure injectors, anhydrous ammonia applicator, manure knife applicator, sub-soil ripper with at least 24-inch shank spacing.

* Ineligible implements include: field cultivators, tandem disk, offset disk, chisel plow, moldboard plow.

* In general if the implement would require that a leveling or smoothing activity follow, it would likely result in too much soil disturbance.

* Fallowed acres are not eligible in this region.

* No Exchange Soil Offsets will be issued in years in which residue removal occurs.

* Residue burning is not allowed. 






CCX does not accept new contract enrollments that utilize ridge-till. Also, CCX will not issue carbon credits on row crop land that has the crop residue removed (silage, straw baling, straw burning, corn stalk baling, etc.). This does not apply to alfalfa or grass hay, or grass pasturing. Land on which the residue is removed will receive zero "0" credit for the year in which the residue is removed. 


2. New grass plantings


Land planted to grass on or after January 1, 1999 is eligible for carbon credits at the rate of 1.0 tons CO2 per acre per year. The entire state of Kansas is eligible for this program. Details are at:


3. Rangeland


CCX has developed contracts for agricultural carbon emission reductions for improved rangeland management. Western and central Kansas counties are eligible for this program, but not eastern Kansas counties (see map below). Basic specifications include:


* Minimum 5 year contractual commitment.

* Non-degraded rangeland managed to increase carbon sequestration through grazing land management that employs sustainable stocking rates, rotational grazing and seasonal use in eligible locations.

* Restoration of previously degraded rangeland through adoption of sustainable stocking rates, rotational grazing and seasonal use grazing practices initiated on or after January 1, 1999.

* Projects must take place within designated land resource regions.

* Offsets are issued at standard rates depending on project type and location.

* Rates vary from 0.12 to 0.52 metric tons of CO2 per acre per year.

* All projects must be independently verified by a CCX-approved verifier.


To provide evidence of compliance in the rangeland program, the CCX will require site photographs, ranch stocking records, and records from agricultural extension agencies. To obtain a copy of the protocol for quantifying GHG reductions from managed rangeland, see:




There are many details and stipulations involved in each of these programs, and producers should review the contract closely. Producers can sign a contract for the CCX program through either the Iowa Farm Bureau or National Farmers Union.


In the Iowa Farm Bureau’s program, producers can sign up for “Pool 6” from now through September 15, 2008. Producers interested in the Pool 6 phase of this carbon credit pilot project can find a complete description of the program and a copy of the XSO (Exchange Soil Offset) sales contract at:


For more information, contact David Miller, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, 515-225-5430, or e-mail:


The National Farmers Union is also currently accepting new contracts for the expanded enrollment acres in the CCX program. The NFU carbon credit program web site is undergoing revisions, but should be up and running again soon, if it’s not already. The criteria of the NFU carbon credit program are the same as those of the Iowa Farm Bureau’s. Details of the program and a copy of the contract can be found at:


For more information, contact Donn Teske, Kansas Farmers Union, 620-241-6630, or e-mail:


Prices on the CCX for carbon credits are currently averaging about $2.00 per metric ton of CO2 equivalent. The aggregators (Iowa Farm Bureau and National Farmers Union) determine when the credits are sold on the market, and take a small percentage of this for overhead.


The CCX program also offers offset credits for methane and forestry plantings. Complete details of the CCX offset programs and current prices can be found at:



-- Steve Watson, CASMGS Communications






Climate change work honored with

nobel peace prize


Former Vice President Al Gore and the United Nations IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for their work on global climate change. CASMGS researchers have been involved in many aspects of IPCC work in recent years.


For example, Keith Paustian, Steve Ogle, and Rich Conant, with the CASMGS group at Colorado State University, played a lead role in the development of the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, which are used for preparing national inventory estimates by all countries in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Data from the Colorado CASMGS researchers’ validation/analysis databasewere used to estimate the soil carbon stock change factors incorporated into the 2006 IPCC Guidelines.


As another example, Chuck Rice, CASMGS researcher at Kansas State University, was lead author in writing one of the chapters in the most recent IPCC report. Three focus groups make up the IPCC: Group I researched climate systems and change; Group II dealt with human and ecosystem impact from climate change; and Group III focused on how to reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Rice was in Group III.


The IPCC and Nobel Peace Prize are just the beginning of CASMGS’ long-term effort to increase the role of agriculture in greenhouse gas mitigation.



-- Katie Starzec, CASMGS Communications, Kansas State University






National Association of Wheat Growers Vice President

SUPPORTS Carbon Market Bill

NAWG Board Member and Montana Grain Growers Association Vice President Will Roehm testified recently that a “robust, uninhibited offset market” for carbon and other greenhouse gases as outlined in the Lieberman-Warner cap-and-trade bill could provide significant new economic opportunity for farmers.


Roehm said, in part:


“I believe your proposed legislation takes an important first step in providing the necessary infrastructure for agriculture to be recognized for the immediate, cost effective and real greenhouse reductions and offsets our industry can provide. 


“The American farmer has long been a careful steward of the land and the environment and contributing to the reduction of environmentally harmful levels of greenhouse gases is a logical extension of what we see as our stewardship responsibilities ...


“There are many critics of U.S. farm programs, and while we believe many of these criticisms are not well founded and a strong farm safety net program is essential to maintaining our ability to stay on and work the land, we are also constantly seeking out entrepreneurial value-added opportunities.”


Roehm spoke at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works’ Subcommittee on Private Sector and Consumer Solutions to Global Warming and Wildlife Protection. The hearing was held to examine the Lieberman-Warner bill, officially titled “America’s Climate Security Act of 2007.”


A number of Senators made positive comments about Roehm’s testimony at the hearing, including Subcommittee Chairman Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), Subcommittee Ranking Member John Warner (R-Va.) and Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.). Baucus indicated for the first time that he would support the bill, and Warner described a discussion with another Senator, Jon Tester (D-Mont.), indicating that Tester would also support the bill, in part because of Roehm’s testimony.


The Lieberman-Warner bill recognizes the important role agriculture can play in the capturing and storing of greenhouse gases, including carbon sequestration. NAWG supports the establishment of a carbon trading market, which would allow farmers to earn money for practices that sequester carbon.

NAWG is also investigating the possibility of the becoming a carbon aggregator.


To view video of the hearing and learn more about the bill, please visit:


To read Roehm’s full testimony, please visit:


-- National Association of Wheat Growers, Wheatworld, Oct. 26, 2007







Nov. 28-30, 2007

50th Anniversary of the Global Carbon Dioxide Record Symposium

Kona, Hawaii



Dec. 17-18, 2007

CASMGS Forum: Agriculture's Role in the New Carbon Economy

Manhattan, Kansas









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