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An online tool to help dairies calculate their environmental footprint is being tested by producers, the Innovation Center for US Dairy says.
Farm Smart currently focuses on voluntary self-assessment in four areas: energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, water quality and water use. But future versions of the tool will help producers identify and assess sustainable agriculture management practices to make dairies more cost-efficient and productive, the industry group says. For example, the tool can help a dairy producer considering conservation tillage or precision fertilizer practices estimate reductions in input costs and GHG emissions, says Doug Young, general partner of Spruce Haven Farm and Research Center in Union Springs, NY.