Agricultural Economics Department


First Advisor

Richard Perrin

Second Advisor

Lilyan Fulginiti

Date of this Version



Havens, A. (2023). Regenerative Farming Practices: How Much Carbon Do They Sequester? UNL Digital Commons.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Agricultural Economics, Under the Supervision of Professors Richard Perrin and Lilyan Fulginiti. Lincoln, Nebraska: April 2023

Copyright © 2023 Andrew M. Havens


Along with the recent rise of voluntary carbon markets comes potential carbon credit producers seeking reliable information on how much carbon they can expect to sequester. In this thesis a distribution of expected sequestration outcomes is constructed using cost-benefit analysis and data gathered from agronomic experiments and land-grant university crop budgets for cover crops and no-till practices. The inverse cumulative distribution of carbon sequestration outcomes from adopting a regenerative agricultural practice is visualized and the net social benefit of paying farmers to produce carbon credits is estimated. Results show that on average there is between $29.02 and $37.20 of social benefit produced per ton of CO2e sequestered using no-till, and between -$8.68 and $26.82 of social benefit produced per ton of CO2e sequestered using cover crops. Information uncertainty about the sequestration potential for individual fields means that the outcome for an individual farmer’s field lies somewhere within these ranges, but the results are firmly positive for no-till carbon credit production.

Advisors: Richard Perrin and Lilyan Fulginiti