MO Biochar Based Climate-Smart Markets

A Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities Project expanding markets for climate-smart specialty crops, corn, soybeans, beef and poultry in MO and supporting farmers and ranchers with implementation and monitoring of climate-smart practice Soil Carbon Amendment code #336.

Missouri Organic Association, in partnership with Missouri State University, Lincoln University, CarbonCycle LLC, Five Star Family Farms Inc., Seidel Research and Development Company LLC, and Green Tribes Consulting LLC, has developed an innovative program to provide direct on-farm assistance and support to convert on-farm ag-waste into biochar for 80 Missouri farms over 3 years. Biochar as a soil amendment can be used to improve soil organic matter, soil aggregate stability and habitat for soil organisms, as well as sequester carbon and enhance soil carbon (C) stocks. The MO Biochar Based Climate Smart Markets project will involve custom design and construction of the Carbonizer, a small-scale, flexible mobile pyrolysis machine that can be adapted to deploy to a large number of Missouri farms. The development of an on-farm solution allows us the unique ability to go to our agriculture community instead of burdening the expense of loading and transporting ag-waste material over distant locations or implementing hazardous open burning.

Key Project Aspects

On Farm Technical Assistance
Each participating farm will receive 2-5 hours of on farm technical assistance consultation including identifying feedstock, creating Biochar with Carbonizer onsite and supporting on-farm staff in effective application of biochar soil amendment according to the NRCS standard for Soil Carbon Amendment code #336 International Biochar Initiative (IBI) guidelines. Each participating farm will receive $400 upon meeting project eligibility and providing enrollment data.
Measurement, Monitoring, Reporting & Verification
The measurement, monitoring, reporting, and verification (MMRV) plan will be led by Dr. Sougata Bardhan at Lincoln University with support for the development of a full GHG Life Cycle Assessment, led by David Seidel at Seidel Research and Development Company, LLC, (SRADCO) a Missouri-based energy and environmental consulting firm with 30+ years of experience. Measurement efforts shall consist of : (1) in-field environmental sensory systems (2)soil quality assessments (3) GHG emissions LCA modeling, (4) water quality assessment (5) environmental and economic impacts, including farm profitability on four of the Phase 1 farms
Marketing Toolkit & Marketing Assistance
Dr. Rimal at Missouri State University Darr College of Agriculture (“MSU”) will lead a team of three graduate students to develop a comprehensive marketing toolkit for participating farmers and producers and create comprehensive case studies in each of four farm categories: row crop, specialty crop, pastured meat, and poultry range. All market development efforts will be solidly grounded in primary and secondary practices in agricultural marketing in Missouri climate-smart commodities also led by MSU. In addition, each of the 80 participating farms will receive $850 in support of the implementation of marketing plans for climate-smart commodities. Additional market development assistance including direct support to connect climate-smart commodity producers with buyers will be provided by Green Tribes Consulting, LLC. MOA will host enrolled Producer Profiles on project website and social media channels; including Producer Photos, climate smart practices in place, Products available, contact info and where to buy/wholesale information, increasing value for all segments of our membership.

Eligibility for the MO Biochar for Climate Smart Markets Program involves the following requirements:

  • Established Farm Records with the Farm Service Agency (FSA)- specifically having farm, tract, and fields numbers and boundaries established for the land in which you want to enroll.
  • The fields you wish to enroll are not currently enrolled in any other financial incentive program for implementing NRCS practice Soil Carbon Amendment #336, such as EQIP or CSP
  • You have operational control of the fields you wish to enroll, meaning that you will make and implement the decisions about the farming practices on the land.
  • You have a completed form AD-1026 on file with the FSA office or willingness to complete an environmental review to certify Highly Erodible Land Conservation (HELC) and Wetland Conservation (WC) Compliance.
  • You are a current citizen of the U.S. or a lawful alien possessing a valid I-551.