Ecosystem Markets

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An Overview of Voluntary Carbon Markets for Illinois Farmers

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

ISAP compiled An Overview of Voluntary Carbon Markets for Illinois Farmers to assist farmers and farm advisors in their evaluation of multiple market opportunities available in Illinois. This resource focuses on agricultural opportunities for ecosystem service markets, including markets incentivizing carbon and water quality. Some of this information was originally published by ISAP in the 2021 Ecomarkets Program Comparison. The 2023 update includes additional carbon market opportunities available to Illinois farmers, summaries of 15 different voluntary carbon markets, a glossary of key terms, and a list of relevant resources.


ISAP's History with Ecosystem Markets

In 2021, ISAP led a partnership comprised of organizations from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, and Wisconsin to host webinars and develop informational materials designed to engage farmers and farm advisors in the exploration of ecosystem market opportunities.

ISAP's goal was 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. Our aim is to facilitate data sharing among our farmer networks.

Eco Markets Program Comparison

2021 Ecomarkets Program Comparison

ISAP’s Ecosystem Market Information fact sheet provides a brief overview of carbon and water quality credits, a list of planning resources to assist in evaluating market potential, and tabular overviews of ten different market and program opportunities.

Suggested citation: Bruner, E. and Brokish, J. (2021) Ecosystem Market Information: Opportunity and Program Comparison [Fact sheet]. Illinois Sustainable Ag Partnership

ISAP's EcoMarket Webinars

Agriculture's Potential

Illinois Potential 609 KB 55 downloads

With over 23 million acres of cropland available for the implementation of practices capable of increasing soil carbon and storage such as planting cover crops and reducing tillage, the opportunity for Illinois farmers to offer immediate, scalable solutions to climate change is immense. This fact sheet, developed by the ISAP Science Advisory Committee in September 2020, serves to introduce farmers to carbon-related financial opportunities.

National Potential 3 MB 46 downloads

American Farmland Trust summarizes the current state of the science surrounding the use of regenerative practices and their impact on soil organic carbon and greenhouse gas emissions, including important limitations of our current understanding. Additionally, the report outlines an achievable path toward harnessing the sequestration potential of U.S. soils.