One of my favorite times of the year is the end of the year. I like to take some time to look back at what happened and reflect about how things have changed as we all made another trip around the sun. As far as 2021 goes, the year was all about how farms are rising to challenge presented by climate change. Here is my list of the most read and discussed articles from my ag tech blog in 2021.

Understanding Carbon Credits. Much ink was used this year in the farm press talking about carbon credits and how farmers can profit from generating them. One of my most visited articles explained what a carbon credit is, who generates them, and who buys them. I follow this up with another article describing exactly how much carbon dioxide a carbon credit offsets in real world units of measurement. For example, I need to buy about 5 carbon credits each year to offset the emissions from my gas-powered vehicle.

Soil Carbon Contracts. The carbon credit market is already trickling down to farmers and ranchers. The soil carbon contract is the legal method that carbon credit brokers are using to generate carbon credits from farmers and ranchers. I examined the six key components of a soil carbon contract. These contracts are not simple and create some legal gray areas, such as unrecorded restrictions on the use of land. This made me wonder, will these contracts cause us to update some antiquated real estate laws?

Dairy Digesters. The dairy industry was bombarded in 2021 with opportunities to build anaerobic digesters on farms. The biogas production facilities are an amazing way to turn manure into a green fossil-fuel alternative. Most people are surprised to learn that midwestern dairy cows are powering trucks in California.

Using Ag Data in the Courtroom. 2021 was also the first time that we used ag data (planting data, combine yield data, soil data, drone photography) to prove crop damages in a courtroom trial. Our case involved intermittent flooding of numerous farm fields over numerous years. Without ag data, proving the yield losses would have been impossible. With ag data, we won!

Thanks for reading the Janzen Ag Tech Blog this past year. Best wishes for 2022.