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Understanding your Sustainability metrics
Understanding your Sustainability metrics

Understanding land use, nitrogen use, soil loss, soil carbon, energy use, GHG emissions, water use, and water quality metrics

Written by AgribleAdmin
Updated over a week ago

After calculating your field's Sustainability metrics, they are available to you at 5 a.m. the next day. Each sustainability metric will be present on its own card, and each card will be color coded based on the calculations. 

  • Quick Tip: A brown card is negative in comparison to the average and a green card is positive in comparison to the average. A grey card indicates the metric was not applicable due to the data entered for the field. 

  • Quick Tip: Each of your metric's is being compared to the state benchmarks or average. The result of your Sustainability metrics is not a report card. 

Sustainability Metrics Explained

Land Use

Measures how effectively each acre is used in production by showing the number of acres to produce 1000 bushels.

Nitrogen Use

Measures how much Nitrogen the crop is utilizing to grow the crop by showing the number of pounds of Nitrogen used to produce one bushel. N Converted is the efficiency of the grower-added Nitrogen converting to plant growth. 

Soil Loss

Measures how much soil is lost each year by placing land into agricultural production by showing the tons of soil lost per 1000 bushels per year. 

Soil Carbon

Measures whether conservation practices used on this field impact soil organic matter using the USDA Soil Conditioning Index (SCI). A negative index number means a loss of carbon, numbers near zero are sustainable, and positive numbers are improving organic matter. 

Energy Use

Measures major energy use in the form of British Thermal Units (BTU's) per bushel. Energy use is the measure most critical to sustainability.

GHG Emissions

Measures the pounds of carbon dioxide emitted to produce one bushel. GHG Emissions are measured as carbon dioxide equivalents for ease of comparison. 

Water Use

Measures the number of gallons of water per bushel. Yield Gain compares the field yield with and without irrigation to show the gain in yield from irrigating the field.

Water Quality

Measures the field in comparison to a range of field characteristics possible in US agriculture. These measures include field physical sensitivity, nutrient management, tillage management, pest management, irrigation, and conservation practices. Field physical sensitivity reflects where a field is located geographically and geologically. Nutrient, tillage, and pest management of a field reflect how the field is managed as a cropping system. Irrigation and conservation practices are modifiers that can provide adjustments to the total. Higher scores out of 10 are desirable. 

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