UK - A greenhouse gas calculator developed at Aberdeen University is this year’s winner of the Practice with Science Award run by the Oxford Farming Conference.
The Cool Farm Tool (CFT) is a free to use calculator for the whole supply chain to measure the carbon footprint of crop and livestock products.
The tool, which was originally developed by Dr Jon Hillier (pictured) and his Aberdeen team in conjunction with Unilever is now owned by the not-for-profit organisation Cool Farm Alliance.
The use of the tool has seen organisation such as Marks and Spencer reduce carbon emissions in cotton production; Costco has used it for its organic egg suppliers and Heinz for assessing climate friendly production options for Californian tomato growers.
The award that is presented by the Oxford Farming Conference and the Royal Agricultural Society of England and is sponsored by AB Agri sees Dr Hillier and his team win £10,000 to develop an economic assessment module to enable farmers to better understand the profit and loss implications of more sustainable production choices.
Dr Tina Barsby, one of the directors of the Oxford Farming Conference and CEO of NIAB said: “The judges were impressed by this project because of its obvious value to the supply chain.
“The tool helps farmers identify hot spots, but where it becomes really valuable is that it allows the user to test alternative management options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
The runner up in the competition is The Farm Crap App, developed by Dr Stephen Rederick and his team at the Rural Business School at the Duchy College in Cornwall.
The app helps farmers manage their bagged fertiliser use by managing their manures more efficiently.
He said that the farming sector also needs to harness the power of computers and technology and tap into “big data” and use ecological knowledge to make space for nature.
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