106832 Characterizing Sustainability of Kansas Dryland Wheat Production Using Fieldprint Calculator.
Poster Number 1313
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Tampa Convention Center, East Exhibit Hall
Today’s food industry and consumers are asking the supply chain to document and show sustainability, from field to table. Many product labels claim sustainability, but a uniform definition of sustainability is not established. Field to Market, a consortium of public and private entities, created Fieldprint Calculator to provide an unbiased estimate of sustainability. Industry provided a call to action for us to assess the responsiveness of this tool to a broad array of wheat production practices in a controlled manner. Selected treatments from two 2016 Kansas dryland wheat studies, addressing fertility, pesticides, plant growth regulators, and cultural practices were entered into Fieldprint Calculator. Results from each treatment were qualitatively compared. Fertility treatments were highly responsive, as the tool accounted for source, rate, application method, and site characteristics. While responsive to macronutrients and conventional fertility approaches, the tool did not account for secondary macronutrients and micronutrients. Fieldprint version 2.5 did not have the capability to specify pesticide programs beyond generic categories such as herbicide, fungicide, insecticide, etc. Chemical composition dictates both environmental impact from manufacturing and environmental fate when applied in the field. Such generalities may adversely or positively affect indices, yielding a misrepresentation of production practices. Cultural practices, such as combinations of cultivation, were rigid and based on USDA NRCS practice codes—limiting users from accurately capturing their production system. Moreover, terraces, which are a major conservation practice in Kansas and the US, were not included in the model. Without representation of terraces, farms may receive poor indices in water quality and soil conservation. Fieldprint Calculator is responsive to many practices and provides a reasonable baseline for sustainability of production practices. Further refinement is necessary to accurately capture all production practices.