$18M to Make Carbon Measurements Easier

Oct 4, 2022

The USDA’s Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities is making dreams come true for ag companies and organizations around the country.

Last week, that partnership sent $18M to Yard Stick—a company that provides almost-instant carbon measurement, reporting, and verification through its hardware/software product, used by companies working to lower their carbon footprint.

Through their partnerships with a few large agrifood companies, Yard Stick is working to prove the reliability of its probe technology and introduce it to farmers along the way.

Bye, bye, middle man! Besides helping users receive their results almost instantaneously, Yard Stick also cuts out the need for the lab, slashing the price of sampling “by more than 90%.”

Traditional carbon sampling requires digging up samples and sending them to a lab, where they’re burned to confirm the carbon content.

It starts with a cordless drill. The Yard Stick soil probe (with a camera on its tip) uses wavelengths to detect organic carbon, while resistance sensors calculate soil density.

With these two measurements, the amount of carbon sequestered in a specific area is determined and communicated with Yard Stick’s software.

“[It’s like] taking a movie of the soil,” CEO Chris Tolles said about the process.

Yard Stick eventually plans to sell a data measurement service, not the hardware.

Yard Stick’s partners include Organic Valley, Texas A&M, South Dakota State University, General Mills, and Stonyfield Organic, to name a few. The company was one of seven chosen for the John Deere 2022 Startup Collaborator Program earlier this year.