Syngenta helps U.S. growers share their sustainability stories
Dec. 16, 2016
- Consumers’ demand for transparency to their food production spur Syngenta Sustainable Solutions initiatives
- These initiatives communicate full picture to downstream partners and consumers
- Data analysis leads to more efficient farm management
As consumers demand more transparency and sustainability from the U.S. agriculture industry, Syngenta is working with growers across the country to develop measurable sustainability initiatives. The primary goals of these Sustainable Solutions initiatives are to provide workable solutions for producing more food from fewer resources and to increase awareness of the sustainability practices that already exist in agriculture.
“One thing consumers may not know about farming is that we’re the most environmentally conscious people you’ll ever meet,” said Chad Rubbelke, a grower from Minot, North Dakota. “We live on the land where we farm. It’s our home and our career, so we take all steps possible to treat it properly.”
Rubbelke and other growers who have chosen to partner with Syngenta on these initiatives collect more than 200 farm data points per acre to analyze within Land.db®, the cloud-based software that is part of the AgriEdge Excelsior® program, a whole-farm management program from Syngenta. Analysis of this grower-owned data not only helps them measure their current sustainability efforts, but it also can indicate possible ways to make improvements.
Some of the most recent findings include the following:
- One third of participating growers in the Red River Valley used cover crops on their fields, which helps to improve soil health and water quality.
- In North Dakota, over 90 percent of wheat fields used no-till practices on their farms to help protect fields from soil erosion and reduce cultivation costs.
- Growers in Idaho who practiced soil sampling reduced nitrogen use while enjoying a yield increase on barley acres, compared to growers who didn’t soil sample.
From a grower perspective, this precise data and analysis provide insight into the impact of their farm-management choices when it comes to crop protection products, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, cover crops, tillage, water usage and more. Stewart Opland, a participating grower from Des Lacs, North Dakota, said one of the pivotal moments for him after using Land.db was when he understood how fertilizer impacts GHG emissions.
“We obviously need fertilizer to grow our crops and sustain our business,” he said. “But by understanding how applying it can impact the environment, we’ve been able to make sure we’re using it as efficiently as possible.”
Consumer-packaged-goods companies are joining Syngenta and growers like Opland to provide the transparency consumers are demanding about how their food is produced. Liz Hunt, Sustainable Solutions lead at Syngenta, helps connect these downstream companies to growers.
“These collaborations not only enable the food and beverage companies to satisfy the consumer requests for transparency,” Hunt said, “but they are also helping growers make their crops more marketable and sustain their farming businesses for generations to come.”
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