A new web-based tool for farmers needing to know how efficiently they are using resources has been launched by the consulting division of Scotland’s Rural College. The SAC Consulting “AgRECalc” programme, which in its simple form will be available free to all Scottish farmers, will also help them reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The new product was launched during the announcement in Edinburgh of the next phase of the Scottish Government’s “Farming for a Better Climate” initiative by Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Richard Lochhead MSP. Senior Business Consultant with SAC Consulting, Julian Bell said:
“Looking ahead, farmers are going to have to produce more food, with fewer resources and less environmental impact. We have developed AgRECalc to help them measure their use of resources and carbon emissions across the whole farm, a particular enterprise or even by product. The data farmers will need is already available from things like IACS submissions, livestock records, invoice and sales.”
The tool has been developed by SRUC over a number of years with input from staff in both SAC Consulting and Research divisions. This ensures it can be updated as science develops. There is already enough data in the system to allow users of benchmark their own farms against similar ones and as more farmers use AgRE Calc this will enrich the database making the tool even more representative of Scottish and UK farms. The system generates key performance indicators (KPIs) such as the electricity used per cow or red diesel consumption per hectare. It also allows you to pinpoint any wasteful hot spots in your business so you can take action to improve efficiency and cut costs.