I reside close to Columbus, Neb., and we personal a hog ending operation, elevate corn and soybeans, and feed some cattle. September was a busy month of pork conferences, with sustainability as a major topic.
We as farmers, whether or not it’s crop or livestock producers, want to inform our story about how we’re being sustainable on our farm. The We Care moral ideas that I follow on my fourth-generation farm handle sustainability efforts. Documenting and measuring the sustainability influence of those practices is essential to reveal these ideas to those that course of, buy and, in the end, devour pork.
For many years, we now have been on the forefront of sustainability — embracing developments that permit us to do extra with much less. For instance, I exploit manure moderately than industrial fertilizer on greater than half of my acres as a result of manure improves soil construction and reduces the chance of runoff.
Swine manure might cut back phosphorus loss by as much as 46% if there’s a runoff occasion shortly after utility, reminiscent of heavy rain. A lot of our practices make a cheap and sustainable influence — the following step is to doc this progress.
The Nationwide Pork Board (NPB) has on-farm sustainability reviews for all pork producers. Particular person farm information creates farm-specific reviews, that are anonymously aggregated to create state and regional reviews. The info assortment course of takes about two hours. A consultant from Sustainable Environmental Consultants helped me obtain my data and has supported me all through the method.
These confidential reviews provide rapid worth to pig farmers, who personal the report information. I exploit my report back to make enhancements for my backside line. Others share theirs with monetary establishments, suppliers and group members who worth how their meals is produced.
You’ll be able to request your on-farm report at porkcheckoff.org/sustainability.
Proving sustainability efforts
The on-farm information is beneficial to me, however I do know I can’t attain each shopper worldwide. Due to this fact, the business is taking an action-based and scientific method to set benchmarks and create enchancment targets. In collaboration with the Nationwide Pork Producers Council, NPB — the place I maintain a seat on the board of administrators — helps the business’s aspiration to provide a number one sustainable protein. Our work towards this aspiration is printed in our first official U.S. Pork Trade Sustainability Report.
Whether or not it’s how I make investments my money and time on my farm, or how the buyer will understand the meat counter, information informs choices. Let’s preserve information on the forefront of our sustainability efforts.
Luckey is a graduate of LEAD 19.