New climate calculator aims to help ranchers reduce emissions

Cattle are a huge source of methane emissions, but strategic livestock management can help ranchers use their land to offset their emissions with carbon capture and regenerative practices. Taking these sustainable livestock management steps just got a bit easier as food sustainability company DSM and data analytics company Blonk have collaborated to launch Sustell, a climate calculator tool for farmers. 

The system analyzes a farm’s operations across 19 different metrics to locate areas for sustainable improvement and provides recommendations for how to go about implementing these improvements. Some of these metrics include climate change, resource use, water scarcity, runoff, and ozone depletion. Areas for improvement include feed type, fertilizer use, crop rotation, and transportation.

David Nickell, vice president of sustainability and business solutions at DSM told TechCrunch, “Each farm, of course, is very different. And you have to have a system which is able to use actual farm data, and to get an accurate picture of that particular farm.” The good news is, there is a whole host of avenues farms can take to improve sustainability. Even something as small as changing the type of electric fencing ranchers use can make a difference in reducing energy consumption. 

Nickell points out that conventional emissions tracking software generally focuses on large-scale agricultural operations, but Sustell wants to make sure no farm gets left behind. Their software is scalable and user-friendly, even for small operations. Having a full picture of where a farm’s emissions are coming from helps ranchers take ownership over their emissions, while a list of tangible areas for improvement makes implementing green changes feasible. 

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