By Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
With farming's impact on the environment becoming a bigger issue among growers, the Soil Conservation Council of Canada (SCCC) announced it will be evaluating a new computer-based tool that calculates and reduces greenhouse gas emissions on farming operations.
February 18, 2009
The Soil Conservation Council of Canada (SCCC), the face and voice of soil conservation in Canada, will be evaluating a new computer-based tool designed to help agricultural producers identify opportunities to calculate and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG)emissions on their operations.
Holos, a greenhouse gas calculator designed by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), analyzes a range of on-farm conservation management scenarios and determines potential reductions in GHG emissions. It is being evaluated by SCCC’s Taking Charge Teams across Canada, who will test the program by plugging in real data provided by farmers. They will then report their findings to AAFC, who will modify the program into a final version for field use.
Holos covers various conservation practices such as zero tillage, rotations with perennial forages, shelterbelts and riparian buffers, says SCCC executive director Glen Shaw. "At a time when the agricultural industry is under pressure to reduce its carbon-based emissions, this tool offers producers the opportunity to identify and set specific reduction goals," he says.
The project is being funded by the Advancing Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food Saskatchewan Program. "However, because we plan to conduct this testing program across Canada, it is open to funding partnerships with agencies throughout the country interested in evaluating the product in the field and extending it to producers," says Shaw.