Arable, the leader in crop intelligence, today announced a joint initiative with Shell International Exploration and Production Inc., supported by HabiTerre and Quanterra Systems, to deliver a high-trust, low-cost carbon measurement and verification system that would advance sustainable farming practices. The groundbreaking project, which will launch in Brazil, is designed to both reduce complexity and increase reliability of carbon monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) in agriculture. At scale, this initiative aims to unlock agriculture’s potential to be a leading source of carbon sequestration, which would make a significant impact on mitigating the impact of climate change.
This announcement comes as the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) scientists predict that up to 10 gigatons of CO2 will need to be removed annually from the atmosphere by 2050 to reach global emissions reduction targets. Although the soil used for farming has the potential to capture up to half that amount through sustainable farming practices, leveraging agriculture as a means to reduce atmospheric carbon remains largely underutilized, primarily due to the difficulty and expense in accurately estimating changes in soil carbon and on-farm emissions. Current measurement protocols require soil tests and infrastructure that require significant investment relative to the price of carbon credits, limiting the value share available to farmers and thus the scalability of the market.
This project is designed to demonstrate the power of combining ground truth crop intelligence with remote-sensed data and scientifically rigorous modeling to produce an accurate and scalable carbon measurement and verification system. It leverages and integrates the latest in digital agriculture technology advancements, including the Arable Mark. The Arable Mark is an in-field sensing and communication device that uniquely measures weather, plant, soil and irrigation flow information all in one simple, reliable system. The data collected from the Mark will be combined with information gathered via Quanterra’s cutting edge carbon monitoring solution and used in HabiTerre’s novel carbon models to provide accurate and trusted estimation and verification at a fraction of the cost of existing MRV methods.
“Shell is committed to finding pathways that will help move us forward in becoming a net-zero energy business by 2050,” said Jessica Hinojosa, nature-based solutions researcher & commercial lead at Shell. “We see great potential within agriculture and the promise of new technologies like this that will help move it forward. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with Arable, a leader in advancing digital agriculture around the world.”
Arable’s ability to collect highly accurate, comprehensive data points is essential to developing trusted carbon credits. In addition to sensed data, the Mark’s integrated camera can provide an extra low-cost layer of verification, confirming practices such as planting, tilling, use of cover crops and harvesting via high-resolution images of the field.
“We are proud to be the leading crop intelligence solution for companies working to improve sustainability in agriculture,” said Jim Ethington, CEO of Arable. “Our work with Shell, HabiTerre and Quanterra builds on our proven ability to collect highly reliable ground-truth data that can be used to address the most pressing issues facing our planet. It’s an honor to be part of a project that holds the potential to unlock the power of agriculture and create a scalable carbon solution that could be leveraged worldwide. This is yet another example of the dynamic and diverse ways crop intelligence can be used.”
The initial phase of the project will take place in Brazil and will include the placement of Arable Mark in-field sensing devices as well as Quanterra’s flux towers in 20 locations spanning multiple crop types. Brazil was selected for the initial deployment because it is not only one of the world’s largest agricultural regions, but also is an area that struggles to produce high-quality carbon estimates and credits due to lack of access to key information such as weather, satellite imagery and soil data. With 40% of its land area dedicated to farming, Brazil represents one of the biggest untapped opportunities for reducing net carbon emissions from agriculture.
At scale, this novel system could be used in virtually every major growing region on the planet and would offer a farmer-friendly method to unlock the vast potential of the agriculture-based carbon market. With this new system, farmers would receive financial incentives for sustainable practices while also enabling businesses to offset emissions at scale through the creation of high-quality carbon credits, which are in short supply today. Arable customers would additionally benefit from a single system that provides carbon credit qualification while improving farming and operational decisions to become more productive, profitable and sustainable.
“HabiTerre is proud to support this innovative project, which holds the exciting potential to advance sustainability worldwide,” said Nick Reinke, CEO of HabiTerre. “Our environmental and productivity modeling, with support from accurate and comprehensive data delivered through the Arable Mark, will deliver important advances to the quantification infrastructure necessary for robust environmental markets, unlocking greater opportunities for agriculture as a leading climate change solution.”
Arable, the leader in crop intelligence, advances digital agriculture globally. Forward-thinking agribusinesses, farming operations, and food and beverage companies use Arable to be more productive, sustainable and profitable. Arable’s intuitive IoT-based solution combines reliable in-field weather, forecast, plant, soil and irrigation data with advanced modeling and machine learning to deliver real-time, actionable insights into the entire crop system. Arable helps customers in more than 30 countries optimize water use, crop protection, fertilization, field work, research trials, food supply chains and sustainability initiatives.
The HabiTerre team is dedicated to making the world a better and more habitable place by advancing sustainable agriculture and land stewardship with a holistic systems approach to farm productivity and resource use efficiency. We do this by helping farmers and the ag value chain maximize profitability and resilience by reducing negative environmental impacts like GHG emissions, nutrient, soil and Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) loss, and water use inefficiencies. These capabilities and supporting technologies were developed at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign to scalably, accurately, and cost-effectively quantify agricultural productivity and environmental impacts with the utmost scientific rigor. We use our leading-edge technology combining remote sensing, process models, and artificial intelligence to evaluate past, present and future cropland performance, including crop rotation, management history, yield, water use, nutrient dynamics, GHG emissions, and carbon sequestration.
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