Interested but Uncertain: Carbon Markets and Data Sharing among U.S. Crop Farmers

Paper by Guang Han and Meredith T. Niles: “The potential for farmers and agriculture to sequester carbon and contribute to global climate change goals is widely discussed. However, there is currently low participation in agricultural carbon markets and a limited understanding of farmer perceptions and willingness to participate. Furthermore, farmers’ concerns regarding data privacy may complicate participation in agricultural carbon markets, which necessitates farmer data sharing with multiple entities. This study aims to address research gaps by assessing farmers’ willingness to participate in agricultural carbon markets, identifying the determinants of farmers’ willingness regarding carbon markets participation, and exploring how farmers’ concerns for data privacy relate to potential participation in agricultural carbon markets. Data were collected through a multistate survey of 246 farmers and analyzed using descriptive statistics, factor analysis, and multinomial regression models. We find that the majority of farmers (71.8%) are aware of carbon markets and would like to sell carbon credits, but they express high uncertainty about carbon market information, policies, markets, and cost impacts. Just over half of farmers indicated they would share their data for education, developing tools and models, and improving markets and supply chains. Farmers who wanted to participate in carbon markets were more likely to have higher farm revenues, more likely to share their data overall, more likely to share their data with private organizations, and more likely to change farming practices and had more positive perceptions of the impact of carbon markets on farm profitability. In conclusion, farmers have a general interest in carbon market participation, but more information is needed to address their uncertainties and concerns…(More)”.