SoilCalculator Estimates Soil Erosion And Its Cost
Agren, Inc., a provider of sustainability technology to agriculture, released a new version of its SoilCalculator application to estimate erosion and its associated economic cost.
SoilCalculator’s updated web interface provides quicker results than in the past. Report outputs quantify the economics of lost production due to erosion under different management alternatives. This enhanced reporting also helps growers and their advisors better understand the impact of management on the health of their soil and address specific problem sites. Efforts can then be targeted to apply conservation practices in the right place, at the right time, and at the right scale to achieve both environmental and economic benefits.
Originally released in 2013, SoilCalculator allows service providers to input various crop rotations, tillage systems, and conservation practices and view the resulting erosion predictions for up to three scenarios. Color-coded maps, similar to a GIS yield map, pinpoint areas of high erosion.
“There is a lot of pressure for water quality and doing things environmentally correct,” said Mark Stutsman, COO, Eldon C. Stutsman Inc., Eastern Iowa’s largest supplier of agricultural products. “SoilCalculator allows us to talk to a grower about things as simple as contour farming and strip-till and see what effect it has on soil loss. It is another layer of value we can add to the grower. It shows our community, our friends, and our neighbors that we are paying attention and doing the very best we can.”
According to Tom Buman, Agren CEO, “SoilCalculator is the first software of its kind to estimate soil erosion and allow growers to see the economic impact of changes in management. Growers can easily evaluate alternatives side by side to maximize profits, conserve soil, preserve yields, and reduce nutrient inputs. That’s real value,” said Agren CEO Tom Buman.
While SoilCalculator is a standalone application for ag service providers, it is the pinnacle of Agren’s three-tiered Sustainability Solution to be announced later this month. Agren’s Sustainability Solution allows growers and their ag advisors to incorporate conservation decisions into their precision ag platforms.
Service offerings include risk assessments as well as custom solutions including soil savings plans and the planning of conservation structures such as grassed waterways, water and sediment control basins, ponds, and wetlands.
Source: Agren news release