Truterra paid more than $5.1 million to farmers last year to store carbon, bringing the total for the first two years of its program to over $9 million, the company said Wednesday.

The Land O’Lakes subsidiary said 273 farmers took part in the carbon program last year; their average payment was about $18,000. In the first two years of the program, Truterra said 462,000 metric tons of carbon had been sequestered.

"By working with and through farmer's trusted advisor, the carbon program has continued to achieve great success in its second year, and we look forward to continuing to meet farmers where they are in their sustainability journey in order to help them make the best agronomic, economic and environmental decisions for their farms," Truterra President Tom Ryan said.

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The company paid participating farmers $20 per ton last year “for additional carbon they have removed over the past three years through adoption of practices known to increase soil carbon levels, including complete no-till, strip till, reduced till and continuous soil cover (cover crop, double cropping, (or) use of perennials,” according to a Q&A on Truterra’s website.

"I had read about carbon programs without giving it much thought until GreenPoint Ag mentioned they work with Truterra and it's a real thing that I could enroll in and could not only help with my bottom line, but also the sustainability of my farm," Robert Walters, a farmer in Alabama, said in the Truterra news release.

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