EnhancingSustainableSupplyChains
 
 
 
Enhancing Sustainable Supply Chains in Illinois and Indiana
 
 
Project Summary

Our project was made possible by the United Soybean Board. CTIC is working with local soil and water conservation districts (SWCDs) and local partners to increase the adoption of conservation systems and improved water quality in two watersheds: the Big Pine Creek Watershed in northwest Indiana and the Upper Vermilion Watershed in east-central Illinois.  This project is specifically targeting growers in priority sub-watersheds that are the primary contributors to nutrient and sediment loads within their respective watersheds. CTIC and partners are engaging with growers by using Field to Market’s Fieldprint® Calculator, a free, confidential tool that numerically and visually depitcs how farm management decisions impact natural resources and operational efficiency. Growers will meet with conservation districts to input their operations’ data into the Fieldprint Calculator, followed by a consultation with conservation agency staff. What the Fieldprint Calculator does not do is help growers take the next step towards conservation and operational efficiency.  CTIC and partners add value to the Fieldprint Calculator by using the outputs to engage in a conversation about potential opportunities for conservation practices and systems in addition to programs that provide financial and technical assistance. Additionally, CTIC provides the watershed-wide analysis of Fieldprint Calculator data that creates a unique opportunity for growers to see how their natural resource impacts and operational efficiency measure up against their neighbors', state, and national averages.  

 
What is the Fieldprint®Calculator?
 
The Calculator is a free and confidential tool developed for corn, cotton, rice, wheat, potato and soybean growers. It allows growers to better understand and communicate how management choices affect overall sustainability performance and operational efficiency.
 
The Calculator estimates field level performance on the following sustainability indicators:
  • Conservation
  • Energy Use
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • Irrigation Water Use
  • Land Use
  • Soil Carbon
  • Water Quality
Activities:
  1. Continually engage soybean growers in the project steering committee comprised of local growers, conservation leaders, agency personnel, ag retailers, representatives of supply chain companies, certified crop advisors, conservation NGOs, and interested citizens.
  2. Maximize outreach opportunities in targeted areas of each watershed to ensure that we can achieve the greatest impact to water and soil quality as practices are implemented by growers.
  3. Enroll soybean growers in the Fieldprint Calculator to engage them in continuous improvement activities.
  4. Pair soybean growers with local conservation agency staff through consultations that will explain Fieldprint Calculator outputs, highlighting potential areas of resource efficiency for each individual grower.
  5. Through these consultations, conservation agency staff will develop  farm-specific conservation strategies that encourage the use of practices and conservation systems that highlight on-farm nutrient stewardship, promote soil health, and encourage continuous improvement.
  6. Facilitate grower enrollment in conservation programs by providing them with information on funding sources that could support the practices and conservation systems recommended in their farm-specific conservation strategies.
  7. Encourage growers to work with their ag retailers/CCA/trusted advisors to implement their conservation strategies and prioritize conservation practices and systems to maximize the return on investments in conservation. 
  8. Compile grower results from the Fieldprint Calculator and provide lessons learned in reports to USB, Field to Market, and a larger audience. 
  9. Share results with soybean growers, Field to Market Alliance members, and a broad audience through CTIC news releases, website, and partner communication channels.
 
This project is brought to you by your soy checkoff. 

Project Partners
  • Benton County SWCD
  • Big Pine Steering Committee
  • CERES Solutions, LLP
  • Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture
  • Illinois Soybean Association
  • Indiana Corn Marketing Board
  • Indiana Soybean Alliance
  • Livingston County SWCD
  • The Coca-Cola Company
  • The Fertilizer Institute
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • United Soybean Board
  • Upper Vermilion Steering Committee
  • United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • Warren County SWCD
  • White County SWCD
  • Winfield/Land O'Lakes, INC