New Income Stream For AB and SK Farmers

Posted in: Environment     

AGRI-TREND Aggregation Inc. (ATAI) is very pleased to announce another significant transaction of Carbon Offsets under Alberta Green House Gas regulations. These tonnes were generated under the Tillage Management Protocol. These transactions represented approximately 1.13 million tonnes.

There is incorrect information within the farming sector in Alberta that the Carbon Offset opportunity has disappeared and gone away. This could not be further from the truth. The retroactive portion of the Protocol (ability to go back to 2002) has been terminated. However, Carbon Offsets and their generation are alive and well and will continue on a “go forward” basis. Contact us immediately for more information via phone or web-site.

Further to an earlier announcement, ATAI is now prepared to go forward with the most recent Protocol in which producers can participate – Nitrous Oxide Reduction Protocol or “NERP”. NERP is designed to reward efficient nitrogen management, and reduced emissions of Nitrous Oxide from your farming enterprise. As a result, if a farm elevates its Nitrogen Use Efficiency (lowering Nitrous Oxide emissions), it can be rewarded with Carbon Offsets. It is important to understand that both Tillage and NERP may be applied to the same acres to produce more tonnes on your existing acreage.

Globally, the nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) of agricultural fertilizers is < 30%. With over simplification, this means that of every 100 units of N applied, 70 are lost to the environmentwhere the effects are mostly negative while 30 units gets into the food, fuel, fiber (F3) produced in the world. Fortunately, the NUE is significantly better (50%) in North America; and for many growers working with an Agri- Coach, paying close attention to detail has improved their NUE to 70 or 80%.

Besides the opportunity for an additional new income stream through NERP, striving for more efficient nitrogen use is a very obvious goal every farmer should have anyway, as they manage the actual costs of growing a crop. There is no advantage to inefficiency.

The science behind improved NUE, and the NERP program is based on the 4R’s: Right Rate, Right Time, Right Placement and Right Form.

Right Rate(s) – what crop are you growing, what is your yield goal, what’s in the soil and what will be released = how much you need to add.

Right Times(s) – how close to seeding or yield/quality results will the right rate(s) be applied. Are there any synergies that could be found or created?

Right Placement(s) – as there are many options broadcast, banded (seed placed, mid-row, side band, dribble), foliar and various application combinations. What synergies are there? What are the potential negatives? What are the SBU implications?

Right Form(s) – ammonium, urea, nitrate, organic, anhydrous, liquid, dry and various combinations are all form choices. How about ESN, Agrotain, N-Serve and combinations of all the above?

It is really all about balance. This could seem complicated at first glance, but just as AGRI-TREND Aggregation learned how to generate income from the tillage protocol with very little hassle for the seller, and no surprises, it has also learned how to make the NERP happen smoothly. Individuals have been trained and accredited to manage the experience from start to finish, use The Agri-Data Solution, and make recommendations on how to fine tune the fertilizer program to maximizethe opportunity, both for NERP, and crop revenues. The goals are parallel.

To date, AGRI-TREND Aggregation has sold approximately 2.3 million tonnes of carbon offsets under the tillage protocol, and paid Alberta farmers more than $23 million. This opportunity continues on an annual basis for anyone in Alberta not yet participating or on a renewal basis for those that have been involved.

Saskatchewan will also be allowing farmers to sell offsets under a tillage protocol as well as NERP, and AGRI-TREND Aggregation is ready to facilitate those sales as soon the protocols are approved. We are hopeful that we can start meaningful discussions with our Saskatchewan partners this year…stay tuned.

Bill Dorgan, President
AGRI-TREND Aggregation Inc.
p. 403.255.5548
c. 403.608.0992

About the Author
Bill Dorgan

Dorgan is President of Agri-Trend Aggregation Inc. He has held a number of key positions in the agricultural industry, most recently as Vice President of PricewaterhouseCoopers Inc. Advisory Services, with extensive senior management experience in sales, marketing, business development and finance in the agricultural sector.

He has also been Vice President of Canada’s largest agricultural co-operative, overseeing the largest agricultural retail supply networks in Canada, with P & L responsibility for sales in excess of $400 Million. 

Dorgan can be reached at 


comments powered by Disqus