High interest from carbon credit buyers, U.S. farmers and high eligibility rate drive expansion decision and collaboration between Locus Agricultural Solutions (Locus AG), Bluesource and Green Star Royalties.
SOLON, Ohio (April 11, 2022) – Locus Agricultural Solutions® (Locus AG), an innovative agtech biological inputs company, in collaboration with Bluesource and Green Star Royalties, subsidiary of Star Royalties Ltd. (TSXV: STRR, OTCQX: STRFF), announced today that the globally recognized CarbonNOW® carbon farming program is expanding by an additional one million acres. The expansion comes in response to high carbon credit purchase interest from buyers and rapid enrollment from U.S. farmers—driven by CarbonNOW’s unique farmer benefits and efficacious results of Locus Ag’s soil health inputs.
Locus AG’s CarbonNOW carbon farming program is built through a partnership with Bluesource, a leading carbon project developer that develops, manages, and monetizes the carbon credits, and Green Star Royalties Ltd., a pure-green royalty and streaming company that provides funding to enable upfront payments to farmers. Announced just four months ago, the initial 320,000-acre CarbonNOW program is rapidly filling its first class of farmers. It received high interest based on key differentiators from other carbon farming programs, including:
- Upfront payments and guaranteed minimums
- Performance bonuses that accrue for larger long-term payouts
- Premium carbon credits and secure buyers
- No program fees and full program management
- High eligibility rates and access to carbon-accelerating technology
High Eligibility Rate Drives Farmer Interest in CarbonNOW Carbon Farming Program
One of the driving factors in the success of the CarbonNOW carbon farming program is its high eligibility rate. Unlike other carbon farming programs, farmers that have already been utilizing regenerative agriculture practices are eligible for CarbonNOW by treating acres with Locus AG’s carbon-accelerating soil health probiotics.
“We can qualify the farmers who have been implementing no-till practices for 30 years, planting cover crops or using their livestock effectively by using our soil probiotics, which are new to the carbon market and actually supercharge carbon sequestration,” said Travis Kraft, director of U.S. row crops for Locus AG. “Joining CarbonNOW® provides additional economic value that helps to ensure a financially secure future for these farmers and the agriculture industry, while feeding an expanding global population and aiding in the climate change fight.”
CarbonNOW Provides Support to Help U.S. Farmers Overcome Current Economic Challenges
As high fuel and input prices continue to rise, the chance to add a new farm revenue stream while building soil health, increasing fertility utilization and increasing yields are reasons farmers are joining CarbonNOW®.
Jamie MacKinnon, Executive Vice President of Bluesource, stated: “The early success of this program is due in large part to well-designed incentives for growers and an alignment amongst the program partners on maximizing the value retained by the grower as a means attracting more acres into the program and creating scale. It is also due to the considerable resource that Bluesource and Locus AG are deploying to onboard and support growers.”
Alex Pernin, Chief Executive Officer of Star Royalties, commented: “Our deepened partnership with Bluesource and Locus AG helps tackle climate change by driving expanded adoption of regenerative agriculture practices. Just over four months have passed since we established this partnership and we are now more than quadrupling this investment in response to strong demand from U.S. farmers to participate in the CarbonNOW carbon farming program.”
U.S. Farmers Continue to Choose CarbonNOW After Evaluating Other Carbon Farming Program
Growers from across the U.S. have joined the CarbonNOW carbon farming program with a wide range of farm sizes, crops and farming practices. Many evaluated multiple carbon farming programs before choosing CarbonNOW.
Scott Scheimer is the owner of Simple Farms, LLC and Scheimer Farms in Cheyenne Wells, Colorado. He farms 20,000 acres of corn, wheat, milo, millet and soybeans using a wide variety of regenerative growing practices, including a range of tillage and cover crops. After evaluating carbon farming programs, he chose CarbonNOW based on eligibility and the added benefits of Locus AG’s soil probiotics.
“Other carbon farming programs demand integration of various farming practices into our operations, but if we were already leading edge, we didn’t qualify,” said Scheimer. “What really turned me on to Locus AG’s CarbonNOW carbon farming program was the fact that it is product based, along with what the microbial products do for the soil. I’m looking forward to the results.”
Todd Olander is the owner of Root Shoot Malting and grows a variety of row crops in Loveland, Colorado. His farm currently produces around 2.25 million pounds of malt on an annual basis for 175-plus breweries and distilleries across the state of Colorado. Todd was attracted to the CarbonNOW program’s generation of premium carbon credits, secure buyers and added value of soil testing.
“A key CarbonNOW feature for me is Bluesource backing guaranteed purchasers of carbon credits,” said Olander. “That’s where other carbon farming programs fall short. Also, Locus AG actually visits the farm to conduct soil testing and analysis. This supplies better verification compared to any other carbon program.”
Allen and Paul Schrag
Father and son team Allen and Paul Schrag have been growing corn, rye, soybeans and wheat for decades on their farm in central Kansas. As they work on a succession plan for Paul to take over in the next few years, they are excited that they can cash in on the regenerative practices they’ve been using for the past 30 years that have kept them out of other carbon farming programs.
“Other carbon farming programs penalized me for doing the right thing on my acreage by practicing no-till farming,” said Allen Schrag. “Once I found that Locus AG would qualify all my acres with a simple practice change, I decided it was worth trying CarbonNOW®. Carbon is going to continue to be a part of the future as far as a revenue stream.”
The CarbonNOW® carbon farming program offers growers an opportunity to leave a lasting legacy and ensure ongoing long-term revenue for their farms by using regenerative agriculture practices that accelerate carbon drawdown and are shown to create rich, fertile soil. For more information, visit LocusAG.com/CarbonNOW.
About Locus Agricultural Solutions®
Locus Agricultural Solutions® (Locus AG) is an agtech, certified B Corp™ and innovator member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development that is helping to solve the interrelated challenges of climate change and food security. Its innovative microbial soil health probiotic technologies and globally recognized CarbonNOW® carbon farming program give farmers a new way to boost yields, profit and accelerate carbon sequestration while reducing operating costs and environmental impact. Locus AG gets its core scientific capabilities from its parent company, Locus Fermentation Solutions (Locus FS), an Ohio-based green technology company. For more information, visit LocusAG.com.
As announced in 2022, Bluesource has merged with Element Markets to create the largest marketer and originator of carbon and environmental credits in North America and one of the largest in the world. The combination brings together Element Markets’ leading position in low carbon fuels and greenhouse gas markets with Bluesource’s expertise in nature-based solutions, project development, capital formation and advisory services to create a vertically integrated climate-focused company that serves all sectors and geographies to accelerate the fight against climate change and environmental degradation. As it relates to regenerative agriculture, Bluesource partners with organizations in the ag supply chain to design, develop, and manage a carbon program to leverage the carbon opportunity for their network of growers. More information about the company is available at www.bluesource.com.
About Green Star Royalties Ltd.
Green Star Royalties Ltd. is a pure-green subsidiary of Star Royalties Ltd. (TSXV: STRR, OTCQX: STRFF). It was launched to create sustainable environmental solutions for a carbon neutral economy by funding premium, North American nature-based carbon offset projects and other cleantech investments. Green Star Royalties is proud to have established best-in-class partnerships in order to pursue a pipeline of cash flowing and near-cash flowing opportunities in both the compliance and voluntary carbon markets.