Internet notebook about my work: deep listening to facilitate positive change


Thursday 12 August 2010

Next generation footprint calculator

The fieldprint calculator – developed by the Keystone Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture - helps farmers assess their operational decisions. It is an easy way to find out how current land use, energy use, water use, greenhouse gas emissions, and soil loss compare with state and national averages. Most footprint calculators are aimed at consumers to give feedback on lifestyle changes. A few aim at companies providing benchmarks to reduce carbon emissions. The field print calculator belongs to a new generation footprint calculators that are tailored at specific professions to help make better informed decisions on the job. In Fastcompany Magazine CEC member Joe Russo explains the knowledge management model behind these new generation tools: “GPS-enabled yield monitors allow us to get site-specific field information for 1- to 5-meter areas. But when it comes to weather forecasting, the most specific we can get is about 1 square kilometer, where there can be a lot of variations in canopy heat and moisture. So there's a gap .that's what we're trying to bridge by combining modeling with physical observation. We use precipitation, effective precipitation -- how much water breaks through the canopy and reaches the soil -- and evaporation levels of the plant and soil to figure out how much water is actually present. Water is precious. Knowing exactly when to distribute it in an exact amount means huge savings.”

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