U.S. soybean farmers now have an updated Fieldprint Calculator to help measure, improve and demonstrate their sustainability performance.
The tool analyzes the use of that farm’s natural resources and inputs to compute its environmental footprint, or “fieldprint.” The results show farmers where there’s room for improvement. U.S. farmers also can compare their results with those from other farms in their area, state or the entire country.
The updated calculator allows farmers to analyze individual fields and includes more advanced measurements for soil conservation and soil carbon. The tool automatically provides a financial ledger that computes the economic impact of sustainable practices and allows users to set up a secure account to save their information for future use.
“All U.S. farmers are under more and more pressure from customers, who demand that soybeans are produced in a sustainable manner,” says Nebraska soybean farmer Mike Thede, who serves as team lead of the United Soybean Board’s Sustainability Initiative. “We need to continue to document our sustainability performance to our end-users in order to maintain and expand our markets.”
U.S. soybean production is proven to be sustainable due to several factors. For example, a soybean plant sequesters more greenhouse gases than those generated by the equipment used to grow, harvest and process soybeans. Additionally, U.S. soybean production and processing have become more efficient because of higher yields, more conservation tillage and reduced energy use.
More information about the Fieldprint Calculator is available at FieldToMarket.org.