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Potato Sustainability Alliance podcast: Digital innovations in sustainable potato farming

Farmers are often required to participate in numerous surveys, respond to various questions, and share extensive data about their operations, which can be quite time-consuming.

“We ask farmers for a lot of information,” acknowledges John Mesko, Executive Director of the Potato Sustainability Alliance (PSA). “And we want to make sure that it’s worth their while.”

To make the data collection process more efficient and offer valuable feedback to potato growers, the PSA is concentrating on streamlining the process and emphasizing sustainability.

“Sustainability is really hard,” admits Liz Hunt, Head of Sustainable & Responsible Business at Syngenta. “It’s even harder to try to do it yourself. So wherever we can find those opportunities to work together to scale sustainability – that’s where we’ll have a lot of wins.”

Syngenta and PSA share common sustainability goals, including making sustainability achievable and accessible for farmers and the entire value chain through digital means.

“Regardless of the crop that you grow or where you are in the world, we want to make sustainability something that all farmers can start to really look into and understand what it means for their farm,” says Liz.

Syngenta is continuously developing its Cropwise Sustainability app, a digital tool that enables growers to evaluate their sustainability efforts, compare their performance with peers, and identify areas for improvement.

“It’s important to give growers the opportunity to start to understand their operation through the lens of sustainability, but then also give them the tools they need to take action on those insights,” notes Jeff Lail, Senior Technical Data Analyst at Syngenta.

Cropwise Sustainability not only simplifies data input but also utilizes the Sustainable Outcomes in Agriculture (SOA) Standard. The SOA Standard can be integrated with Syngenta’s Cropwise Sustainability app to benchmark sustainability against the SAI Platform’s Farm Sustainability Assessment.

This standard allows growers and the broader agriculture value chain to measure and pinpoint continuous improvement opportunities that align with the Farm Sustainability Assessment.

“Understanding the sustainability of your farm operation and that of an entire industry like the potato industry is helpful to each individual farm,” says John. “Understanding where you’re at is important, not just because you are required to do it, or because you’re being asked by your market to do it – it’s helpful to your business.”

PSA and Syngenta are joining forces to simplify data collection and offer insightful feedback on sustainability to potato growers. Their shared objective is to make sustainability accessible to farmers and the entire value chain. The PSA plans to implement the Cropwise Sustainability app by fall 2023.

Listen to the podcast by visiting the PSA website here.

Source: Potato Sustainability Alliance (PSA).
Image: Credit PSA | AdobeStock

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