New way to become more environmentally friendly

The Cool Farm Tool (CFT) calculates the total amount of greenhouse gases released in the production of different crops. The use of energy on farm operations, transport and the production of chemicals results in the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The CFT will help farmers calculate their current carbon footprint and explore options to reduce that footprint, said Prof Martin Steyn from Pretoria University at the Seed Potato Growers Forum.

“They may explore how different applications and sources of chemicals, as well as field operations such as tillage and irrigation, influence their carbon footprint,” he said. “Pump costs, for example, are an enormous contributor to the carbon footprint in South Africa, even where irrigation is only used to supplement rainfall.” 

For more information, visit www.coolfarmtool.org. Potatoes SA will hold a half-day CFT training session on 3 September in Pretoria. Contact Monica van der Merwe at [email protected] for further details.