ISAP Publishes Updated Carbon Market Comparison Table

This week, the Illinois Sustainable Ag Partnership (ISAP) published “An Overview of Voluntary Carbon Markets for Illinois Farmers,” to assist farmers and farm advisors in their evaluation of market opportunities available in Illinois. This resource includes information on 15 carbon market opportunities available to Illinois farmers, a glossary of key terms, and a list of relevant resources. The document provides context for the development and regulation of ecosystem service markets, includes an infographic explaining how farmers navigate different types of carbon markets, and provides details on each program’s enrollment history, geography, and process.


Voluntary ecosystem markets, often called “carbon markets,” have expanded in recent years, largely driven by corporations setting climate and sustainability goals. ISAP believes carbon markets offer the potential to incentivize the increased adoption of soil health systems, and ISAP is leading efforts to increase transparency on various market incentives and facilitate data sharing among farmer networks.


“Row crop farmers are uniquely positioned to advance climate goals by both reducing greenhouse gas emissions and sequestering carbon in the soil while producing valuable food, fuel, and fiber,” shares Megan Miller, Agronomy Program Manager for the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) and Co-chair of ISAP’s Science Committee. “We’re proud to have contributed to ISAP’s work in developing this important resource which will help Illinois farmers better understand and access financial opportunities to further support their contributions to the climate solution.”


This resource was developed as an update to ISAP’s Ecosystem Market Information Fact Sheet, released in 2021. The 2021 Fact Sheet included tabular overviews of ten different market and program opportunities and was one of the first published resources which provided transparency on the structure, potential payments, and verification requirements of various ecosystem service markets. As the ecosystem market space continues to rapidly evolve, and additional programs are initiated or expanded into Illinois, ISAP recognized the need for publishing an updated resource with more current information.


“We believe this is the most comprehensive document comparing carbon market opportunities for Illinois,” shared Jean Brokish, Midwest Deputy Director for American Farmland Trust and Treasurer for ISAP. “We hope that farmers and farm advisors use this as a resource to evaluate opportunities based on their current operation’s goals.”


Farmers and farm advisors can view An Overview of Voluntary Carbon Markets for Illinois Farmers on ISAP’s website at  ISAP’s goal is to provide farmers with transparent and practical information to increase their confidence in evaluating ecosystem market opportunities. ISAP does not endorse any particular program or company. The information provided in this resource is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice to any individual or entity.


As a coordinated and consistent group, Illinois Sustainable Ag Partnership (ISAP) focuses on messaging, outreach, training and education for farmers and their trusted advisers to bring together and disseminate new information and lessons learned in plain, practical language. Members work collaboratively to amplify the programs of each organization, share resources to gain efficiencies and identify synergies in achieving soil health and nutrient goals. ISAP’s mission is to create a network to support a systems approach on agriculture lands to improve soil health and reduce nutrient loss. 

ISAP’s members include: The Nature Conservancy, American Farmland Trust, Precision Conservation Management, Illinois Corn, Illinois Central College, The Wetlands Initiative, The Zea Mays Foundation, Illinois Land Improvement Contractors Association, Association of Illinois Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Illinois Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever, University of Illinois Extension, Agriculture Drainage Management Coalition, Illinois Soybean Association, Illinois Certified Crop Advisers, and Midwest Dairy


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ISAP Coordinator