Bushel, a digital platform connecting farmers and agribusinesses, announced it is the recipient of a $3.5 million grant to develop new features into its digital platform for improved reporting on carbon intensity (CI) scores for renewable fuel processors. The funding is part of an effort by the North Dakota Industrial Commission through the Clean Sustainable Energy program.
Through the grant, Bushel plans to add functionality to its Bushel Farm offering to improve the farmer and agribusiness experience for management, verification, reporting and payment of sustainability programs. Bushel Farm is a farm management software that provides a consolidated view of a farmer’s business; reduces manual entry of farm records; and provides a snapshot of farm activities and profitability at the farm, crop, and field level. Further, it enables farmers to collaborate with their grain buyers to enroll in sustainability and traceability programs via permissioned sharing of select farm operation data.
A pilot will be focused on sustainable fuel and grain processing plants in North Dakota during 2024. One of the companies participating in the pilot is Red Trail Energy, based in Richardton, North Dakota.
“We are continually discovering new ways to improve our sustainable practices, source grain from farmers already producing low CI-corn, and support farmers interested in improving the carbon intensity of farming practices," said Jodi Johnson, CEO of Red Trail Energy. "Partnering with Bushel will help us take yet another step in our discovery by working alongside us to determine how technology can improve traceability and reporting."
Through the funding, Bushel will have dedicated development resources to develop:
- Farm practice data permissioning capabilities
- Data integrations and connections to carbon credit verification partners and MRV (Measurement, Reporting & Verification) partners
- Dashboard views for sustainable fuel processors
- Elevated security, infrastructure, and identity management across platforms
The additional functionality will also support renewable fuel processors with the traceability needed to apply for the Section 45z tax credits. This new legislation passed through the Inflation Reduction Act, provides a tax credit for domestic production of clean transportation fuels, including ethanol, sustainable aviation fuels, and biodiesel. This digital dashboard will help those processors track and report on their CI scores to apply for tax credits through Section 45z. Unlike previous carbon programs that offer payments per acre, the tax credits are given on a per-bushel basis, with portions shared between sustainable fuels processors and farmers.
“One of the major hurdles for sustainability program enrollment is the amount of information needed to submit and transfer as grain moves through the supply chain," said Jake Joraanstad, Bushel CEO. "This grant will help accelerate capabilities into our existing Bushel Farm software as a proven option for farmers to use for verification. This is another step for farmers to be able to monetize farm practice data showing their regenerative agriculture efforts all the way to verified grains,” “Fuel processors and other grain facilities will have more insights into farm practice carbon intensity than ever before.”
The North Dakota Industrial Commission, consisting of Gov. Doug Burgum, Attorney General Drew Wrigley and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, approved $15 million in matching grants and $222.5 million in loans during the latest grant rounds for the Oil and Gas Research and Clean Sustainable Energy programs. The Clean Sustainable Energy Program was established in 2021 to advance the commercialization of low-emissions technologies for North Dakota’s energy industry.