How Many Years of Field Records are Needed for Carbon by Indigo?

The number of years of field records required depends on your crop rotation. Learn more here.

Becky Scott avatar
Written by Becky Scott
Updated over a week ago

For Carbon by Indigo, you need to enter both your current season info and historic seasons' info on each enrolled field so the change in carbon levels can be measured. The dividing line between "historical" and "current season's records" is the date/year you adopt a practice change.

Example: I planted cover crops in 2022 and terminated them in 2023. I would need historical records based on my crop rotation using 2023 as the start date. 2023 to today would represent my "current season records" and would be used to model the practice change going forward. The records from years prior to 2023 are the historical records needed to model the pre-practice change baseline.

The Carbon registries that verify our credits require 3 to 5 years of historical information, which is determined by your field's crop (and management) rotation. In the cover crop example above, that could mean records back to 2020 (3 yrs), 2019 (4 yrs), or 2018 (5 yrs). Below is a timeline showing this example with a 4-year historical requirement based on a 2-year crop rotation. The dates used assume that the practice change was made in the same year as Carbon enrollment.

Use this chart to determine how many years you are required to enter:



Years of management records needed

1-year rotation

3 years

2-year rotation

4 years

3-year rotation

3 years

4-year rotation

4 years

5-year rotation

5 years

6-year rotation

5 years

7-year rotation

5 years

8-year rotation

5 years

What is a crop rotation?

Crop rotation is the practice of growing a series of different types of crops on the same field/area across a sequence of growing seasons. It reduces reliance on one set of nutrients, pest and weed pressure, and the probability of developing resistant pests and weeds.

What are years in a crop rotation?

The number of years in a crop rotation is the number of years it takes for a crop rotation cycle to repeat. A crop rotation is more than just what the crop types are; it also matters if they are legume or non-legume crops and which follows which! Most crop rotation cycles tend to run for three or four years.

Below are examples showing historical requirements based on 2 and 3-year crop rotations.

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