CropLife 100 Early Bird Special: What Role Do Ag Retailers Play in Carbon Credits?

Editor’s Note: Each year for the past 38 years, CropLife magazine has gathered huge amounts of data to compile its annual CropLife 100 report. The bulk of this information will be presented throughout the month of December to our readers. There are, however, several findings that for one reason or another don’t make the final analysis. So, going into the 2021 report, we’ve decided to present some of these data sets as separate stories presented in our weekly enewsletter. With the table now set, this week’s menu includes plenty of copy on how the nation’s top ag retailers view their prospects for the carbon credits movement.


Besides COVID-19, the one other topic gaining excessive amounts of interest in 2021 was carbon credits. In particular, many grower-customers were discussing this option for doing their part to “help the planet” by capturing carbon in their crop fields – and getting paid for it as a result.

Naturally, plenty of the nation’s top ag retailers are talking about carbon efforts in agriculture, with numerous virtual and in-person events being held during 2021 that looked at this issue. However, although there is apparently lots of interest in the role ag retailers might play in carbon credits, most describe the industry’s efforts in this area thus far as “just crawling along.”

Perhaps part of the problem for ag retailers is many aren’t quite certain just what role they might play in this initiative. In fact, according to the 2021 CropLife 100 survey, 9% of respondents foresee “no role” for ag retailers in the carbon credits effort. The vast majority, 53%, predict that ag retailers will only play “a small role” in agriculture’s carbon plans – perhaps doing nothing more than advising grower-customers on what crop inputs to use to reduce carbon emissions/capture carbon in the soil.

Still, a good portion of the nation’s top ag retailers, 38%, envision their companies playing “a large role” in the carbon credits program for growers, providing not only products and advice, but collecting loads of data to help customers make “informed decisions” about their carbon capture efforts.

What role do you see ag retailers playing in carbon credits?

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Indeed, according to Matt Carstens, President and CEO for Landus Cooperative, Ames, IA, this is how he foresees ag retailers being involved in carbon. “I hope to see ag retailers getting more value in the data they provide to growers vs. the commodities we might sell them,” said Carstens, speaking at the online 2021 PACE Executive Forum held in mid-November.

LAST WEEK: A Whole (Lotta) Grain

ON NEXT WEEK’S MENU: The Supply Crunch