Filling the sustainable farming gap
If farmers can demonstrate their environmental performance then this can help tackle the triple challenges of decreasing emissions, improving the condition of natural resources and increasing the market value of Australia's agricultural sector. Farmers can then capitalise on sustainable management practices and switch to practices that generate fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
With a disconnect between available national and international accounting tools, and challenges around keeping tools relevant and up to date, there was a gap to fill.
A cradle to farm gate solution for Australia
FarmPrint is a flexible and interactive pilot tool that is relevant to the Australian context.
FarmPrint has an initial focus on dryland broadacre cropping. It embraces a cradle-to-farm-gate approach, measuring not just the greenhouse gas output of on-farm activities but also the embedded emissions that are found elsewhere in the supply chain, for example in fertilisers, chemicals and diesel. Crucially, FarmPrint allows farmers to assess their environmental performance against regional benchmark data and to monitor environmental aspects beyond greenhouse gas emissions.
A tool with wider application
The FarmPrint pilot tool was developed to demonstrate feasibility and principles. The next phase will focus on embedding FarmPrint in a platform that can support multiple user interfaces and applications.
The goal is to have FarmPrint methodology and data accessed via an Application Programming Interface (API) which would mean an unlimited number of tools could leverage the same central method and databases. This would increase consistency and reduce the administrative burden for users. Longer-term development of FarmPrint will focus on expanding the coverage of industries and environmental metrics.