July 15, 2024

New app for sustainability efforts

NEW ORLEANS — A unique tool that places farm sustainability insights into the hands of growers was launched this year by Syngenta.

The Cropwise Sustainability app allows farmers and the broader agriculture value chain to demonstrate sustainability and identifies opportunities for continuous improvement.

By incorporating Syngenta’s Sustainable Outcomes in Agriculture standard, the Cropwise Sustainability app provides an actionable approach to measure and deliver continuous improvements for regenerative agriculture at scale.

The standard has achieved gold-level equivalency against Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform, Farm Sustainability Assessment 3.0, the highest level of equivalency.

Liz Hunt, Syngenta Sustainable and Responsible Business team head, North America, gave details of the new app and the company’s sustainability efforts at a recent media summit.

“Farmers are often called the first environmentalists and really take sustainability to heart throughout their operation. There’s no doubt about that, and we have the unique opportunity at Syngenta to help bring those stories to light through our sustainability work, our digital work and through all our products,” Hunt said.

“The one thing everybody asks is how you define sustainability. It’s making sure that we’re conducting production in a way that provides for people now, but also provides for generations to come in farming and meeting the needs of everyone.

“Digital agriculture is leading the way in this. Everybody says you can’t manage what you don’t measure. It’s great if you measure it once, but you’ve got to be able to look at that, understand it over time and glean insights from it. That’s why the digital component is so important to sustainability for us and to provide new solutions to help get better insights to sustainability.

“We wanted to put sustainability in the hands of everybody.”

—  Liz Hunt, Sustainable and Responsible Business team head, North America, Syngenta

“At the end of the day, we know sustainability has three different components to it — productivity, profitability and resilience. They’re what are going to help us feed a growing population. There’s going to be a lot more people in a really short time and we don’t have a lot more resources to work with. So, how can we best optimize what we do have now to continue to provide long into the future.”

Key Focuses

Syngenta’s sustainable solutions for farmers and channel and value chain partners focus on three key areas:

• Data analytics and insights: Implement tools for providing meaningful sustainability insights for customers to benchmark and document economic and environmental sustainability. This looks at some of the data analytics around the farm level, crop level, field level sustainability.

• Freedom to operate: Syngenta actively partners with organizations that are committed to science- and practice-based measurements of on-farm sustainability and support freedom to operate across the supply chain.

• Product solutions: Lead with Syngenta products and production recommendations supporting sustainable farmer practices for improvements to climate, food systems and communities.

User Friendly

“The Cropwise Sustainability app is available to all farmers. We wanted to put sustainability in the hands of everybody,” Hunt said. “The whole point of this is sustainability doesn’t have to be hard. Farmers are getting asked a lot of questions about sustainability. So, we built this tool to help farmers assess that.”

The app incorporates the Sustainable Outcomes in Agriculture Standard, a Syngenta-developed credible standard for measuring on-farm sustainability. It focuses on key outcomes in sustainability — crop production, water impact, soil health, biodiversity and habitat, human and animal well-being, and community leadership.

Users are prompted to answer questions about their farm production practices and decisions and receive a leadership score and performance report based on sustainable outcomes. Opportunities for improvement are identified, alongside actionable sustainability insights that can be considered in the planning process and from season to season.

“It looks at the different management practices or drivers that farmers are doing in their operation and helps to assess on a basic, medium and high scale and how you are doing in each of those areas. But, more importantly, what are some of the opportunities that you can take to improve? It gives that instant feedback at that farm level, at that crop level, around sustainability,” Hunt added.

Through Syngenta’s data privacy pledge, growers maintain ownership of their data. Growers can choose to share their assessment results with value chain partners.

Partners are then able to anonymize aggregated data based off of assessments, providing a view of their sourcing area and where opportunities for sustainability improvements exist.

Tom Doran

Tom C. Doran

Field Editor