We Deliver Conservation

Get Paid for Your Conservation Practices

There has never been a more exciting time for growers who prioritize conservation and land stewardship within their production systems. Co-Alliance is proud to offer flexible programs that allow growers to qualify for practice changes made back to 2019. By partnering with multiple organizations that offer both carbon inset and carbon offset contracts, we have maximized options for our farmer-members who wish to capitalize on these markets. Furthermore, our goal is to educate farmer-members on what to look for in any program that pays for conservation practices, regardless of whether it is a program we currently offer.

Ecosystem Service Market Contract Options Available Through Co-Alliance

Co-Alliance is committed to simplifying the process for growers looking to capitalize on the emerging ecosystem service market, which refers to markets for services like carbon sequestration and improved water quality. Growers can generate these “ecosystem service credits” by implementing certain conservation practices like cover crops and reduced-tillage.

Co-Alliance has partnered with multiple organizations that provide grower contracts for multiple types of ecosystem services. For each program, Co-Alliance will handle all data collection and enrollment to ensure the process is as simple and efficient as possible, all at no charge to the grower.

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Length of Contract: 1 year (No commitment to re-enroll)

Qualifying Practice Changes: Reduced Tillage, No-Tillage, Cover Crops, Extended Crop Rotations (e.g., adding alfalfa to rotation)

Payment: Proprietary Payment Model (average payment in 2022 was $31/acre)

Year of Qualifying Practice Change: 2024

Ecosystem Service Generated: Carbon Insets (carbon sequestration, water quality improvements, and reduction in nutrient losses factored into the inset credit)

SWOF is ideal for fields where practices will be implemented for the first time in crop year 2024 (i.e., any practice that occurs after harvest in 2023) and for growers who don’t want to make a long-term commitment to any practice change or program. 

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Length of Carbon Contract: 5 years

Qualifying Practice Changes: Reduced Tillage, No-Tillage, Cover Crops, ≥ 5% Reduction in Commercial Nitrogen Usage (coming soon)

Payment: $30/carbon credit (Carbon Premium), $15/carbon credit (Carbon Standard)

Year of Qualifying Practice Change: 2019-2020 (Carbon Standard), 2021-2022 (Carbon Premium) 

Ecosystem Service Generated: Carbon Removal Offsets (also known as carbon credits)

Truterra’s carbon program is ideal for growers who have made a qualifying practice change in 2019 or later and are committed to maintaining the practice for the next 5 years. 

Cover Crop Resources

Looking for cover crop seed? Speak with your local Co-Alliance agronomy team member about our diverse selection of cover crops and how to make them profitable on your operation.

Residual Herbicide Considerations for Fall Cover Crop Establishment

It is well known that the magnitude to which a cover crop provides any ecosystem service is positively related to the amount of biomass the cover crops puts on. Today, many farmers are establishing cover crops into standing corn or soybeans in order to maximize fall cover crop biomass production. The tables in the article linked below from the University of Missouri highlight the ways that various residual herbicides can affect cover crop establishment in the fall.

Select the Right Cover Crop Species to Meet Your Conservation Objectives

Different species of cover crops are used to accomplish different conservation goals. Multi-species mixes can yield multiple ecosystem services simultaneously. These services could be smothering herbicide-resistant weeds, breaking through compaction layers, building organic matter, or growing high-quality forage. The Midwest Cover Crops Council’s Cover Crop Decision Tool will aid your decision-making process when deciding which species is right for your operation.

Estimate the Carbon Sequestration Potential On Your Operation with USDA’s COMET Planner Tool 

Select the county you farm in and then select one of the listed practice changes along with how many acres you  would like to implement the practice change on to see an estimate of the annual carbon sequestration rate on your farm.

Grazing Cover Crops Fact Sheet from Practical Farmers of Iowa

One of the fastest ways to realize value from cover crops is by utilizing them as forage. The following fact sheet from Practical Farmers of Iowa provides a wealth of information about the economics and agronomics of grazing cover crops.