Trace & Save provides the opportunity for agricultural consultants to partner with us. You can use the Trace & Save system (including the SWAN system) to measure sustainability on the farms you consult with.
The Trace & Save system uses a comprehensive set of indicators which allows farmers and consultants to track sustainability on their farms over time. The first time a farm is measured is in order to establish a baseline. Future improvements in results can then be compared to this initial baseline.
Trace & Save uses both the online platform, from which farmers can directly access their farm’s data, as well as a computer application which is designed for the consultant to use.
The Trace & Save consultant application is a dynamic data recording, storage and reporting tool. Consultants upload farm data onto a secure central database, from which visual reports can be run, and data compared between years and indicators, all of which provide farmers with comprehensive feedback on their sustainability situation. This data also feeds in the farmer’s online based research platform. This helps farmers to identify opportunities for improving the sustainability of their farm management.
The Trace & Save system
THE SWAN SYSTEM
Soil samples can be taken by composite sampling, core sampling (samples taken on specific geo-located points) and/or probing (Trace & Save uses a Veris P4000 probe). Indicators of soil life, fertility and structure are measured. The full list of the indicators used can be found by logging on as a guest and browsing the Soil report page. All of the soil data is displayed on charts, maps and tables on the application (examples are shown below), and on charts and maps on the website.
Water use efficiency is measured by collection water use data such as irrigation, cattle drinking, washing of parlour and yard, which is then compared to crops grown and/or produce. This gives a pasture water use efficiency, as well as a product water use efficiency, which are displayed on the website and application using various chart and tables, as shown below.
A carbon footprint analysis is carried out on farms and displayed using the website and application using charts and tables. The carbon footprint is normalised for comparison across farms by measuring the tons of greenhouse gas emissions per litre or ton of produce and/or per hectare of land and/or per head of livestock.
The nutrient aspect of the SWAN system is displayed through a nutrient balance, which uses a graph to display the nutrients imported, in relation to the nutrients exported, from the farm.
Biodiversity conservation is an important aspect of sustainable agriculture. Trace & Save has compiled a biodiversity conservation checklist for farmers to identify practices they are already implementing, and where opportunities for conservation exist. This checklist can then also be used to compile a comprehensive farm biodiversity management plan, which includes a land-use map identifying important biodiversity conservation areas.
The well-being of the people who work on farms is imperative to meet sustainability goals. Trace & Save uses a basic questionnaire examining whether the welfare of people working on farms is being addressed.
Where applicable, the Trace & Save system uses the five freedoms to assess whether animals are being well cared for on farms.
Any consultants who are interested in partnering with Trace & Save should contact us in order to gain access to an example farm which shows the full extent of the indicators, and the display thereof online, used in the Trace & Save system.
The Trace & Save system is a continuous research platform, so based on your situation and requirements, Trace & Save is able to adapt accordingly. The aim is to grow the system to be able to be applied to most agricultural production systems.