Truterra, LLC, the sustainability business of Land O'Lakes, Inc., one of America's largest farmer-owned cooperatives, announced the launch of Truterra™ sustainability services, a comprehensive suite of agronomic and financial resources designed to meet farmers where they are at every stage of their sustainability journey. This launch is part of Truterra's broader effort to work with more farmers to encourage adoption of regenerative farming practices by working to remove one of the biggest barriers to practice change – fear of lost profitability and productivity of their acres – and develop new offerings that best fit farmers' needs and support their transitions to more sustainable practices.
Truterra sustainability services focuses on working with farmers to plan, make and maintain sustainability practice changes, including:
Making a plan: The Truterra™ soil health assessment and plan sets quantifiable soil health baselines and provides custom recommendations to improve overall soil health and resiliency. The soil health assessment brings much-needed locally relevant context to soil health measures for farmers to understand more about their soil health status, potential for improvement and to help create a roadmap toward improved soil health. After a successful 2022 pilot across several states including Iowa, Kansas and Missouri, Truterra is expanding the soil health assessment to Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin. The soil health assessment offering builds on the robust conservation agronomy support already being delivered through Truterra and Winfield United networks of trusted local ag retail advisors and its farmer support team.
Creating a pathway to make change: Truterra's market access program is an on-ramp for eligible farmers considering adopting new regenerative practices on their fields. Farmers can potentially receive $2/acre to begin building the baseline data required to participate in future carbon program opportunities. In addition, farmers have the opportunity to participate in the WinField United Advanced Acre® Rx prescription plan1 – a component of which provides a warranty to offset part of the risk of this practice change implementation.
Being rewarded for transition: For fields that have made eligible practice changes within the last four years, qualified farmers can potentially earn between $15-$30 per tonne of new carbon stored through Truterra's 2023 carbon program which is now open for enrollment through February 28. Truterra offers farmers earning potential by paying based on results – carbon stored – rather than a set payment per acre.
Truterra is also working to develop additional opportunities for farmers to be rewarded for their stewardship, such as the USDA-funded Climate SMART (Scaling Mechanisms for Agriculture's Regenerative Transformation) project to scale production and demand for climate-smart corn, soybean, wheat, cotton and milk production.
"A journey to sustainability is never a straight line. Working through the farmer cooperative system enables us to take a comprehensive view and deploy targeted support to directly address what farmers and retailers need to best manage risk and maximize natural resources to generate a potential return on investment," said Tom Ryan, president, Truterra. "Through the launch of our sustainability services approach, Truterra is excited to continue working with ag retailers and farmers in an effort to address cost, risk and knowledge barriers to regenerative agriculture practice adoption. In turn, we can help position them as leaders in emerging market opportunities for carbon removals, climate-smart commodities and other ways to be rewarded for their stewardship while future-proofing their businesses for the long-term."
Truterra's 2022 carbon program is expected to pay farmers more than $4.5 million total in cash payments for nearly 237,000 tonnes of carbon stored in soils. The program delivered 220 participating farmers an average payment per participating farmer of $2,124. Full results for the 2022 program will be released in the coming months once all payments have been finalized.
Truterra's sustainability services are rooted in the Land O'Lakes cooperative network, which touches about 50 percent of all U.S. harvested acres, and work through its agricultural retailer network of trusted advisors to provide farmers better agronomic insights to continuously improve their operations. With Truterra's work in supporting farmers transition to sustainable practices, WinField United's scientific approach to crop management and the expertise of local ag retailers, the Land O'Lakes cooperative system is working to help mitigate the risk associated with converting to more climate-smart practices.
Interested farmers can learn more and find the program that is right for them at Truterraag.com/enroll or contact their local Truterra retail partner.
1 *Agreement is required and conditions, restrictions and service fees apply. Percentage goals for the crops' Approved Yield range from 95–105% for corn and 95–100% for soybeans. Only available to corn and soybean farmers who enroll a minimum of 250 acres of an individual crop in the program.