For several years, Monsanto has been a member of Field to Market, an alliance of a diverse group of organizations across the agricultural supply chain. Organized and facilitated by the Keystone Center, the alliance is focused on creating opportunities for sustainable agriculture.
Some of the focus areas include meeting the needs of the present while enhancing the ability of future generations to meet their own needs; making agriculture more productive to meet future food demands; improving agriculture’s impact on the environment; improving human health; and enhancing the economic and social well-being of agricultural communities.
This past week, Field to Market named Ron Snyder as its new president, effective March 10. Snyder is currently the director of public policy with the National Corn Growers Association, and will provide leadership to the more than 50 member Farm to Market organizations across the supply chain.
The alliance currently offers the Fieldprint Calculator, a free online tool to help growers measure and communicate about sustainable agriculture. To date, the calculator has been used in projects in eight states, involving about 400 growers and 130,000 acres. The program evaluates field level performance for these indicators: Land use, conservation, soil carbon, irrigation water use, energy use, and greenhouse gas emissions.
Calculator projects have included a wheat program in the Idaho Snake River Valley, involving 25 growers and sponsored by General Mills and Syngenta, to provide information on the impacts of crop rotation on natural resources, and a corn project in the Paw Paw River watershed in Michigan, sponsored by The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund, Van Buren Conservation District and The Coca-Cola Company, to measure and improve corn production practices in Van Buren County.
Last year, Field to Market issued its 2012 Environmental and Socioeconomic Indicators Report, which analyzed national sustainability trends for U.S. corn, cotton, potatoes, rice, soybean, and wheat production. Using publicly available data, the report evaluated performance over three decades, and noted significant environmental improvements and a promising outlook for socioeconomic trends.