Questions To Ask Before Enrollment

Eligibility and enrollment

  • What crops and/or agricultural systems are eligible?
  • What is the minimum and maximum contract length?
  • Is there a minimum acreage required to enroll?
  • Will the program be practice-based or outcome-based?
  • What does the program do with certified or purchased credits? Ex. will credits be retained for internal or later use, sold, auctioned, traded, etc.?
  • Can existing practice adopters participate, or will a practice change be required?
  • Can fields that adopted practices prior to enrollment receive payment?
  • Can rented land be enrolled or just owned land?
  • What penalties will a farmer incur if participation ends before the contract expires?
  • Can I enroll acres that are enrolled in USDA or state cost-share or conservation programs?
  • What happens if there is a failed crop or failed practice implementation during the contract period?
  • Are other ecosystem credits included or just carbon?

Payment details

  • What is the annual payment amount and/or how are credits or outcomes priced?
  • Are payment amounts fixed for the term of the contract or calculated each year?
  • What is the annual payment timing/schedule?
  • Is there a transaction fee imposed by the program? If so, how much?

Data/software requirements

  • What operational data must farmers provide or share to enroll?
  • Is company-specific software required for data entry?
  • Will the program use, share, or sell farmer-provided data in ways external to the carbon program?

Quantification, monitoring, verification, and certification

  • How are credits or outcomes quantified?
  • Is soil sampling or other environmental monitoring required? If so, will they notify the landowner before a site visit?
  • Who conducts and pays for the environmental monitoring?
  • What is the process for practice verification and credit certification?
  • How is verification and certification paid for?
  • How does the program provide technical assistance to farmers?