As part of our commitment to being the best carbon calculator for farmers and growers in the UK, we have just launched another upgrade. This comes hot on the heels of another major upgrade in November, and shows our commitment to the many thousands of users that value the Farm Carbon Calculator.
To ensure we are reflecting the latest science, this upgrade features major improvements to emissions factors and methodologies for the livestock, crops and fertiliser sections. Using the latest IPCC and UK Greenhouse Gas Inventory data, we always aim to provide users with the most up to date emissions and sequestration factors.
For users though the biggest changes will appear in the interface, which has received a major design overhaul. Focussing on how users can better understand results, what they need in terms of outputs, and how the data input process flows, we believe we’ve got the best version of the Farm Carbon Calculator yet.
A new feature is benchmarking, so farmers and growers can see where they are compared with other users, total emissions or carbon balance per tonne of product and per hectare. This applies to overall business emissions, and if working on a product basis, then against other similar products (e.g. wheat) also.
Data entry has been improved to give a clearer layout, and useful information to help users understand what information is required and what it will be used to calculate.
Emissions are now also shown in detail, by Scope (1,2 and 3), and Greenhouse Gas type (carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide) for each section.
The Farm Details page is much more clearly laid out, also with helpful tips.
There is clearer navigation in the Reports section too, where you can Edit data, Download your report as a PDF or CSV, compare against other reports you’ve done, or Share your report with others. At any time you can go back to your reports.
The Nitrogen Module is clearer now and gives you a better understanding of the Nitrogen flows through your farm.
We hope you find the tool even more useful than before. There are lots of FAQs on the Calculator home page, and if you get stuck you can always contact us for more help.
Today the Farm Carbon Calculator has gone live with a major upgrade. As part of our development cycle, every few months we deliver updates to ensure our calculator keeps up with the latest science, while also improving its features and usability. As the number of users continues to rise, we regularly update the tool to ensure it’s the best it can be and matches our users’ expectations.
The recent COP26 exemplified how carbon has shot up the agenda for everyone in societies across the world, and this fact is reflected in the number of farmers and growers we are engaging with at the Farm Carbon Toolkit. We have been advocating for over ten years that farmers and growers have a key role in cutting emissions and indeed in sequestering carbon in their biomass and soils, and we provide solutions for users to measure and manage carbon in their businesses.
Farms are one of just two industrial sectors that can not just reduce emissions but also sequester carbon (the other being forestry). This means farming can play a positive role in the climate crisis by potentially drawing down atmospheric CO2 into its soils and biomass. Facing the climate crisis, we are here to support farmers and growers to make a positive contribution, as we all must do.
In this upgrade we have updated a wide range of emissions factors based on the latest research; including in Fuels, Livestock, Fertilisers, Crops, and Materials. This means up-to-date figures, more categories and therefore increased accuracy.
Major changes include a larger range of fertilisers, a huge range of branded sprays to choose from, a new way of recording livestock numbers – giving much more useful outputs, more animal feeds, new animal bedding section, a much greater range of bought in manures, and upgraded factors in fuels, electricity and travel.
There are new user features including an improved way of recording yields of crops, more FAQs to help you through the process, and videos to support you in filling in the Calculator.
On the Report Summary page, the emissions are now broken down into Scopes 1, 2 and 3, which makes Company Reporting easier and clearer. We’ve also separated results for carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, so users can understand which greenhouse gases make up their total carbon footprint.
A brand new feature, and a great compliment to Carbon, is a way to measure Nitrogen. Thanks to funding from the WWF, and in conjunction with the Soil Association, our new ‘Nitrogen Module’ allows users to visualise the nitrogen flows in and out of their farm system. Nitrogen (N) inputs are built up from biological fixation, synthetic fertilisers and organic manures as well as purchased livestock and animal feeds. The N output is calculated from in-field N2O emissions as well as crops, milk and livestock sold and the N balance calculation provides an overview of the net change of Nitrogen over the year.
It takes several months of work to prepare for an upgrade. We plan, prioritise, research, extract figures, build new functionality, review, then test, test and test again!
The Calculator team is already planning the next update, which is scheduled for late February 2022. We will be working to update a raft of more emissions factors, reviewing the latest science (which is changing quite rapidly), and working on even more user features. Which all means that in another three months the Calculator will take an even bigger leap forward!
Working with consultants, larger companies and organisations
The Calculator will always be free for farmers and growers to use. But increasingly we have a new group of users who want to use the Calculator within their supply chains and as part of a consultancy service.
For consultants advising farmers, we offer a licensing service, where they can receive training and access to the Calculator to calculate the carbon footprint of their clients, and deliver advice upon the results. For businesses and organisations managing groups of farmers and growers – such as buying groups, co-ops and larger food businesses, we offer a white label version of the Calculator. This is branded and tailored to the user, along with support from us, and a group admin function to manage and compare group users’ data.
Finding out more
We hope you find the Farm Carbon Calculator useful for your business, and take steps to reduce your carbon footprint. You can use the Toolkit for further help, advice and case studies https://farmcarbontoolkit.org.uk/toolkit.
Farm Carbon Toolkit is delighted to announce a new collaboration with Mercian Ltd, the UK’s largest supplier of crisping potatoes.
Farm Carbon Toolkit is using its years of experience in carbon footprinting to create a bespoke Carbon Calculator module customised for Mercian’s potato farmers.
The tool provides both a broad overview and the fine detail of the individual farm’s footprint; taking into account the greenhouse emissions and carbon sequestration from all aspects of the operations. Mercian’s potato growers will find categories for their seed, sprout suppressant and specific contractor operations, such as de-stoning the soil, in this user-friendly tool.
Future releases of the tool will focus on integrating the Calculator with existing farm software, to improve the accuracy of the results and reduce the time spent inputting data.
Farm Carbon Toolkit’s Calculator Development Manager Oliver Kynaston explains the motivation behind the collaboration:
We’re working with farmers and growers right across the UK, providing them with the tools they need to lower the carbon intensity of the food we all eat. Farmers are all at different stages on their carbon journey, but we believe an important first step is to get a good baseline of their whole- farm carbon footprint. From there, farmers can see the hotspots of their activities – whether that’s diesel use, fertiliser application or new equipment– and then focus their efforts and reduce their emissions and increase carbon sequestration.
We’re delighted to work directly with Mercian to improve our calculator and increase our reach in one of the most important agricultural sectors in the UK.”
Oliver Kynaston, Calculator Development Manager
Jon Kemp, Business Manager of Mercian, says:
As the largest supplier of crisping potatoes in the UK, we felt the time was right to take the initiative. The input we received from Farm Carbon Toolkit has been both professional and very much inspirational for us, which has led to a joint approach that builds our understanding of the carbon intensity within the supply chain. “
We are truly hoping that technology will help the UK potato industry play its part in the positive changes that are taking place across agriculture.
Jon Kemp, Business Manager
As well as offering ‘white label’ carbon calculators to businesses and organisations, individual farmers and growers can start their first carbon footprint by using the Farm Carbon Calculator, the UK’s leading tool to help farmers and growers measure AND reduce their carbon footprint. Visit calculator.farmcarbontoolkit.org.uk
ABOUT FARM CARBON TOOLKIT
Farm Carbon Toolkit is an independent, farmer-led enterprise, supporting other farmers to measure, understand and act on their greenhouse gas emissions, while improving their business resilience for the future.