Study will inform a national carbon credit measurement, verification and reporting system
April 26, 2023 – Moosomin, SK – Hebert Grain Ventures will be the site of a national case study that will see HGV’s 32,000 acres of grain and canola farmland used to quantify the amount of carbon being sequestered with the ultimate goal of developing a measurement, verification and reporting system that will help Canadian farmers generate and sell quality carbon credits.
The Canadian Alliance for Net-Zero Agri-food (CANZA) will work with HGV and researchers from the University of Saskatchewan. Other collaborators involved in the study include the University of Ottawa’s Smart Prosperity Institute and the University of Guelph’s Arrell Food Institute. Advisory support is being provided by RBC, Nature United, Nutrien, Maple Leaf, Loblaw and Boston Consulting
“We’re really excited to be involved in this study as it demonstrates our interest, willingness and optimism that carbon credits can provide another stream of revenue for Canadian farmers without jeopardizing agricultural output,” says Kristjan Hebert, president of the Hebert Group, a family of agricultural companies including Hebert Grain Ventures.
Up until now, Canadian farmers have been reluctant to participate in the carbon offset market due to confusion over carbon credit eligibility, invalidated credits and low carbon offset prices.
“Many farmers think the carbon offset program is just a bunch of government hearsay. We’re attempting to gather the data to prove that using farming practices that lower emissions is not only good for the environment but can actually translate into revenue and a cheque,” says Hebert.
The 12-month in-field, research and development case study will begin this month. Researchers will test and validate new technologies, like remote sensing and spectroscopy, that can potentially measure carbon more efficiently.
“Rigorous testing of these technologies will ensure we have scientifically-defensible methods for quantifying and comparing the impact of management changes, over time and across different soil types and climate zones,” said Angela Bedard-Haughn, Professor of Soil Science and Dean at the College of Agriculture and Bioresources at University of Saskatchewan. “Building a comprehensive soil organic carbon database will also provide a foundation for modeling future change under further land use and climate changes.”
By the end of the project, the goal is to develop a prototype MRV (measurement, reporting, verification) system that has the capacity to measure & model the impact of soil health management practices and generate high-quality carbon assets that meet industry verification standards.
“Canada’s farms manage one of the world’s largest inventories of agricultural land and sustainable practices can give farmers unparalleled power to cut emissions, and improve air and water quality, soil health, and biodiversity,” said Mohamad Yaghi, Agriculture and Climate Policy Lead at RBC’s Economic & Thought Leadership. “And while the credit market could be enormous – as much as $2 billion to $4 billion more by 2050 – there remain significant economic obstacles to farmers adopting these practices. Kristjan is the innovative farmer Canada needs because of his dedication to building innovative solutions to evolve the entire industry and help producers get rewarded for what they preserve.”
The next phase of the study would see the low-cost, scalable prototype MRV system used for production testing through a pilot program during the 2024 growing season.
About Hebert Grain Ventures (HGV):
HGV is a progressive 32,000-acre grain and oilseed operation in Moosomin, SK. HGV is obsessed with solving agriculture’s puzzles. HGV is built on the belief that it leaves the land and the financial statements in a better state for future generations.
About Canadian Alliance for Net ZeroAgri-food (CANZA) :
CANZA is associated with the RBC Climate Action Institute which works closely with businesses and industry partners to design practical ways to reduce net emissions. It will focus initially on buildings & real estate, agriculture, and energy systems.