November 30, 2015
Lincoln, Neb. —Nebraska Extension, in cooperation with the Nebraska Corn Board and Nebraska Soybean Board, is conducting workshops to introduce Nebraska corn and soybean producers to a tool that tracks key farm efficiency measures. Field-to-market efficiency workshops will take place in eight locations in Nebraska the week of Dec. 7, where farmers will learn how to use a web-based computer tool called the Fieldprint Calculator.
"This is not your grandfather's definition of sustainable agriculture," said Rick Koelsch, Nebraska Extension associate dean. "The tool rewards farms focused on efficient use of inputs, productivity and sound stewardship practices as environmentally sustainable."
Most of the major grain buyers and companies using feed grains in food are reporting ways they are becoming more resourceful with energy, water, raw materials and product waste streams. The consumer is asking these companies to improve the efficiency of producing and bringing their products to market. Extension has learned through previous workshops that many of these environmental indicators can be improved by implementing best management practices already developed.
"Fieldprint can help growers to establish benchmark data on a field and track improvements over time, set energy-saving and efficiency goals and compare performance against local, state and national benchmarks," said Nebraska Extension educator Randy Pryor.
The field assessment workshops in Nebraska are hands-on and will show growers how to document eight sustainability and efficiency indicators on a computer. They are land use, conservation, soil carbon, irrigation water use, water quality, energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and water quality.
Participants will select a representative corn or soybean field for 2015 and complete a data input sheet in advance of the Fieldprint Calculator workshops. Meals and workshop materials are sponsored through a Nebraska Extension Innovation grant and funding from the Nebraska Corn Board and Nebraska Soybean Board. Computers are provided, but participants are welcome to bring their own. No prior computer knowledge is necessary.
Registration is required by Dec. 3 by contacting a host Nebraska Extension office. Participants from 2014 workshops are invited back to review outcomes from last year's workshops and complete another cropping sequence.
"We want growers in Nebraska to be better able to understand and communicate how management choices affect overall sustainability performance and operational efficiency of their farm operations, but also be prepared for any new supply chain initiatives in the food sector that could emerge," Pryor said.
Workshop times, locations and registration information:
- Lincoln: Dec. 7, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Lancaster County extension office, 444 Cherrycreek Road; contact: Tyler Williams, (402)441-7180 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Beatrice: Dec. 7, 5:30 to 9 p.m., Gage County extension office, 1115 West Scott St.; contact: Paul Hay, (402) 223-1384 or email@example.com
- Auburn: Dec. 8, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Nemaha County Hospital Meeting Room, 2022 13th St.; contact: Gary Lesoing, (402) 274-4755 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Geneva: Dec. 8, 5:30 to 9 p.m., Fillmore County extension office, 1340 G St.; contact: Brandy VanDeWalle, (402) 759-3712 or email@example.com
- Clay Center: Dec. 9, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Clay County extension office, 111 West Fairfield; contact: Jennifer Rees, (402) 762-3644 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Central City: Dec. 9, 5:30 to 9 p.m., Merrick County extension office, 1510 18th St.; contact: Troy Ingram, (308) 946-3843 or email@example.com
- Fremont: Dec. 10, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Dodge County extension office, 1206 West 23rd St.; contact: Nathan Mueller, (402) 727-2775 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ithaca: Dec. 11, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Agricultural Research and Development Center, 1071 County Road G; contact: Keith Glewen, (402) 624-8030 or email@example.com