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R470 Farm Scale Resource Efficiency Calculator

Publication Date: 
17 June 2013
Author/Contact :
Author/Contact: 
James Clarke

Contractor :
Contractor: 
ADAS

Full Research Project Title: Farm Scale Resource Use Efficiency Calculator
Duration: May 2013 - June 2015

Industry Challenge

Agricultural production uses energy, water and other resources, some specific to an enterprise and some shared across enterprises. Farms also exchange some resources, such as straw or manures with other farms. Use of resources on farms has environmental impacts, and to date the focus has been mainly on greenhouse gas emissions. The need for tools that account for multiple impacts is increasingly recognised, as these would provide a better balance of information for businesses.

Collaboration

ADAS, EuGeos, FEC, IBERS, NIAB, SRUC and University of Aberdeen

Aims and approach

Objectives:

  • To define technical and environmental data required to calculate complete LCA and carbon footprint of agricultural systems
  • To identify the farm data required by the AHDB RUE for calculation of resource use efficiency and identification of default values
  • To define default economic data at whole farm, enterprise and product scale
  • To develop the calculation engine for the AHDB RUE calculator
  • To develop a fully functional AHDB RUE  calculator with appropriate user interface
  • To complete a technical and real life evaluation of the AHDB resource efficiency calculator
  • To conduct analysis of test data and four worked examples of mixed farming scenarios

The project involves all 6 divisions of AHDB. The consortium is supported by the Cool Farm Tool institute and the SAI platform. The AHDB RUE calculator will quantify key LCA impact categories (including carbon footprint, compliant with PAS 2050). The added value variant of the project will provide a web based interface for the AHDB RUE calculator, with enhanced user defined benchmarking and scenario development capabilities and the ability to include on farm renewable generation as a farm enterprise.

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