Insights

Op-Ed: Making stewardship more accessible and streamlined for growers will benefit the food chain

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Truterra and Syngenta are working to establish clear metrics and a common language for stewardship and conservation in agriculture

 

Sustainability. What does it mean? And how do we help U.S. growers achieve it?

There are various schools of thought about which crop management practices are deemed to be “sustainable.” Unfortunately, we no longer have the luxury of time to achieve a shared philosophy of sustainability in agriculture. Given the ongoing challenge of climate change, and its impact on farm operations, as well as the many pressures facing growers — including consumer demands — the market simply cannot wait until definitions are in place and consensus is reached before driving change.

One of the biggest challenges remains a lack of comprehensive tools that can quantify economic and environmental benefits for farmers when evaluating farm management options. And, while data are abundant, tools to integrate and effectively use the data are not.

That’s why Truterra LLC and Syngenta are collaborating to offer a step-change in stewardship and conservation best practices for U.S. growers, while helping them maximize acre-by-acre productivity and profitability. We are joining forces to make sustainability definitions, technologies, and ag production data more consistent within the industry, while creating favorable conditions for growers to maximize the positive impact that agriculture can make. In time, we aim to lead in conservation and sustainability within the agricultural value chain.

By establishing clear metrics and a common language for stewardship and conservation that is meaningful for farmers and their core customers — food companies and consumers — we can all work together to drive meaningful and scalable impact.

Key to delivering on this ambition is the ag retail channel. Farmers today, more than ever before, rely on their retailers for expert advice on both the profit potential and stewardship implications of agricultural practices. Our collaboration is designed to amplify the on-farm benefits of precision conservation, building on the world-class expertise that ag retailers deliver to their farmer customers.

Our technology-based alliance leverages data analytics from both the Truterra Insights Engine and Syngenta’s AgriEdge Technology Platforms. With data privacy standards at the forefront, growers who take advantage of this alliance will experience the combined power of insights and expertise will help growers assess and improve soil health, carbon sequestration, greenhouse gas emissions, livestock lifecycle assessment and water management on American farms. They will be able to establish the baseline for stewardship levels on each agricultural field, benchmark against other fields, and receive insights on what practices may be beneficial in advancing their stewardship efforts.

In addition, consumer packaged goods companies will have far greater visibility into their sourcing sustainability when working with both Syngenta and Truterra customers. And the greater geographic footprint of our program will help support sustainability goals of food companies with multi-geography sourcing.

Ultimately, we are collaborating to make stewardship more streamlined and consistent for U.S. growers and to help producers and food companies better quantify sustainability progress in the food and ag supply chain. Addressing climate change and farming challenges is larger than one company, and with this effort we are taking a big step toward making sustainability clear and practical for U.S. agriculture.

 

This op-ed was written by Jason Weller, Vice President at Truterra LLC, and Tommy Jackson, Sustainable Solutions Lead for Digital Solutions at Syngenta.

Any views or opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect those of AGDAILY. Comments on this article reflect the sole opinions of their writers.
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