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First Carbon Credit Corporation Supporting The Canadian Farmer

Information About FCCC Projects

Land Based Bio-Sequestration (Land Use Land Use Change)

Agriculture is 10% of the GHG Problem But with Proper Investment It Can Be 25% of the Solution

What is Land Based Bio-Sequestration

Canada has over 167 million acres of agricultural land, and over 80% of the annually, cultivated portion resides in the Prairies. The agriculture sector currently contributes 7.6% of Canada’s GHG emissions, but has the potential to reduce two to three times that much, through carefully crafted policies to encourage voluntary participation by Canada’s 250,000 farmers. In addition, approximately 29.5 million hectares of Canada’s agricultural land is in a forage perennial cover including pasture, hay, silage, legume and grass seed, feed pellets, cubes and compressed hay – the management of these lands represent significant sequestration opportunities as well.

Of all the market incentive measures currently being discussed, “carbon credit trading” is the one that is best able to encourage farmers to adopt practices that promote carbon sequestration and thus the creation of carbon sinks. 
Land makes up a quarter of the Earth’s surface and its soil and plants hold three times as much carbon as the atmosphere.

Science has determined that carbon dioxide is absorbed by the land from the air generally. CO2 in the atmosphere is absorbed by plants, which transform it into carbohydrates, cellulose and other sugars.  Each plant uses some of the carbon compounds to meet its energy needs and converts them back into CO2.  Some of the carbon remaining in the plant is then removed from the system when the plant is harvested; the rest ends up in the ground and is transformed into CO2 again by microbes in the soil.  This cycle is identical in all crop systems, but the quantities of CO2 involved vary depending on climate, soil and type of plant. It is important to remember that just because it is complex does not mean it is not real, measurable or verifiable.

A well managed piece of land that uses environmental best practices enhances the soils ability to absorb and store more carbon dioxide from the air. That is what can be measured scientifically and quantified. Some jurisdictions are currently using an adjusted baseline co-efficient calculation to assess the volume of carbon credits created on their agricultural land.

Is this additional to that which would have occurred anyway? Science tells us that removing CO2 from the atmosphere is only one significant benefit of enhanced carbon storage in soils. Improved soil and water quality decreased nutrient loss, reduced soil erosion, increased water conservation and greater crop production result from increasing the amount of carbon stored in agricultural soils. A number of benefits occur that help the farmer increase his crop yield and also help the environment by significantly reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.

Opportunities in Land Based Bio-Sequestration

Significant opportunities are represented by thousands of potential contracts with landowners with millions of acres of lands and a variety of animals.  Aggregating projects provides a value added revenue source for the landowner/farmer.  FCCC targets four types of sinks – removals, reductions, replacements and sequestration of GHG emissions.  Within each contract with a landowner, FCCC works to ensure that environmental best practice activities are identified, assessed and quantified using protocols that verify ownership and length and volume of environmental activity that has occurred.

The demand side of the market accommodates two conceptually different categories of carbon transactions.  The first is that of allowance-based transactions, where the carbon units are called allowances that are created and assigned through various systems, including free allocation and auctioning, by regulators under cap-and-trade regimes.

The second includes project-based-transactions, where the carbon units are called carbon credits, also referred to as carbon offsets or emission credits.  These are units of “carbon compensation”, generated by an unregulated sector of the economy like farmers that use their best environmental practices to convert their low volume emissions into a positive carbon offset credit thereby negating, or neutralizing, a given amount of GHG emissions (in CO2 equivalent) released in one place by avoiding the release of the same amount of emissions elsewhere, or by absorbing the equivalent amount of CO2 that would have otherwise remained in the atmosphere (in a process known as carbon sequestration).

This process is called carbon sequestration: the term “soil sink” is used to mean agricultural soil that has implemented a “change in practice” to absorb more carbon dioxide from the air than would have occurred without that change.

Soil sinks cannot be created unless practices are adopted that increase the carbon content of the soil. At this time estimates of soil sequestration capacity vary depending on region, soil type or best practice used but it is at least another decade of opportunity for the North American farmer to help our environment.

FCCC’s market focus is directed towards these project-based transactions, with an emphasis on agricultural, forestry, and other land based emission reduction and bio-sequestration projects.

As demand increases for GHG emission reduction offsets and credits from LFE’s, there is a significant solution opportunity for the Agriculture, Forestry and Land Use (AFOLU) sector.  Only land-based or “terrestrial” carbon sequestration offers the possibility today of large-scale removal of GHG from the atmosphere.  Significant opportunities are represented by thousands of potential contracts with landowners with millions of acres of lands and a variety of animals.

First Carbon Credits Corporation Projects

Summerfallow Project

Pictures of Summerfallow Project, Conversion to No Summerfallow or Chemfallow, Change Summerfallow Fields Several Times in Season to Crop Rotation and No Till or Apply Chemical and Do No Tillage

Crop Residue Project

Positive Crop Residue Cycle

Crop Residue Project – Positive Crop Residue Cycle presented, Leaving waste on Fields After Harvest

Within the Agricultural Industry, the crop residue is also commonly referred to as litterfall or crop waste.  It is the straw and product that remains after the crop has been harvested.  Depending on the type of farming operation, a landowner may rake the residue, bale it and use it in his cattle or hog operation as bedding material.

Crop Residue is a farming practice typically used in the Prairie region to try to conserve soil moisture by leaving the field waste on the fields after the harvest.  This waste material is usually chopped up by the combine and broadcast across the field behind the combine.   As a physical buffer, crop residues protect soil from the direct impacts of rain, wind and sunlight leading to improved soil structure, reduced soil temperature and evaporation, increased infiltration, and reduced runoff and erosion. While some studies suggest that plant roots contribute more carbon to soil than surface residues (Gale and Cambardella, 2000), crop residue contributes to soil organic matter and nutrient increases, water retention, and microbial and macroinvertebrate activity. These effects typically lead to improved plant growth and increased soil productivity and crop yield.

FCCC’s Crop Residue Default Coefficient Protocol quantifies Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission offsets associated with a change from baling the straw after harvest to leaving it on the fields on Canadian Prairie Provinces agricultural soils.