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SUSTAINABILITY AS A TOOL TO BUILD YOUR BUSINESS

Sustainability is here to stay. That’s the message from producers, input providers, trade associations, processors, and retailers across food, fiber and floriculture production and distribution in the U.S. and globally.

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THE STATE OF SUSTAINABILITY

From cotton and crop input suppliers, to fruits, vegetables, row crops and ornamentals, sustainability is taking hold. Here is a brief roundup of how producers across markets, crops and production systems are approaching the challenging – and changing – issue of sustainability.

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DATA IS THE FOUNDATION

Deep at the heart of any sustainability program is intensive data management. Fortunately there is an increasing number of tools and programs to help producers become number-crunchers nonpareil.

Left to right: Reagan DeSpain (Syngenta), Pete Clark (co-owner,AgConnections) and Rick Murdock (co-owner, AgConnections).

DATA FIELDS [Sponsor Content, Presented by Syngenta]

What began in the U.S. South with a few thousand acres of cotton has emerged more than a decade later into a program offering growers data-rich, whole-farm management. Syngenta’s AgriEdge Excelsior® program helps farmers increase their potential to grow more — bales, bushels, pounds and profits.

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TOOL OF THE DATA TRADE

Field to Market’s Fieldprint Calculator for row-crop growers indexes agronomics and practices to a “fieldprint,” then helps growers evaluate their farming decisions, compare their sustainability performance, and estimate the financial cost of a plan. Here is a walkthrough of how it works.

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SUSTAINABILITY ISN’T A FAD

Sustainability is a valuable business practice. Bryan Silbermann of the Produce Marketing Association says sustainability in produce is a valuable practice that helps a business become more efficient, reduce food waste, and connect with consumers.

SUSTAINABILITY RESOURCES

A selection of sources for online information on sustainability across U.S. and global agriculture and horticulture.