Expected since the start of 2021, the recognition by the French Ministry of Ecology of the low-carbon methodology for field crops was approved on August 26. Project leaders (groups of farmers, cooperatives, traders, etc.) can now refer to it to quantify the greenhouse gases avoided and the carbon newly stored in the soil thanks to the practices they will deploy.
The low-carbon « field crops » label method describes all the levers for reducing greenhouse gas emissions that can be implemented by producers as well as practices aimed at storing more carbon in the soil. These levers are of various kinds: mineral and organic nitrogen fertilization (choice of the form of fertilizers, reduction of doses via better input efficiency or the insertion of legumes, etc.), fuel consumption (tillage, energy required for pumping irrigation water, etc.), increased carbon return to the soil (plant cover, crop residues, supply of residual products or insertion of temporary meadows, etc.).
The method allows an individual farm, or more certainly a group of farms, to propose a project that can be financed by private or public actors (communities) engaged in voluntary approaches that can target different objectives: contribution to the effort collective carbon neutrality, reduction of emissions across its entire value chain, or carbon offsetting initiatives.
Carbon credits for arable crops
This « field crops » method is linked to methods already approved (such as « Carbon Agri » which concerns the bovine sector, or the « hedges » method) or being drafted in the agricultural sector (such as the Methanization method).
« Project leaders finally have a robust guide to enable producers of arable crops to produce carbon credits and thus allow them to have a new perspective of valuing their transition efforts ».
This method is the result of work coordinated by French associations like Arvalis, with Terres Inovia, ITB, ARTB, Agrosolutions and a consortium of around fifty experts (public research, agricultural technical institutes, etc.) and around one hundred stakeholders. (future project leaders and funders, agricultural supply firms, NGOs, administration, public authorities, etc.)
Source : Adèle Magnard, PleinChamps