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Update: SISC Beta Metrics and 2011 Pilot


Staff, Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops

06/17/2011

In the next few weeks, the Stewardship Index Coordinating Council will review a metric calculator that is designed for widespread piloting during 2011 and 2012. We welcome growers and other Stewardship Index partners to pilot test these metrics on fruit and vegetable operations of all scales, with a focus on citrus, potatoes, strawberries, processing  tomatoes, winegrapes, and romaine lettuce.

In response to grower input from the 2010 pilots, data input requirements have been significantly scaled down for this year’s pilot.  The metric calculator is designed to provide instant feedback: growers enter data and receive baseline calculations about their on-farm stewardship of water, soil, nutrient and energy resources.   This information will likely include:

  • Water use efficiency by acre and unit of production
  • Simple irrigation efficiency using crop evapotranspiration
  • Soil organic matter as compared with the soil’s potential
  • Nitrogen and phosphorus use efficiency by acre and unit of production
  • Energy use by acre and unit of production

Grower input is critical to the Stewardship Index process. By piloting these metrics, growers will provide and receive valuable information on:

  • Usefulness of the metrics for evaluating sustainable performance within specific crops and regions.
  • Usefulness of the metrics for improving business operations and efficiency.
  • Clarity of data collection tools and availability of data.
  • Usefulness of the data in answering buyer inquiries.

Look for a complete suite of Stewardship Index metrics tools, including the calculator and a user guide, in the next month. A number of webinars will be planned to demo the calculator for potential users.

If you are interested in piloting the Stewardship Index metrics, please contact Jessica Siegal at jessica@stewardshipindex.org or 707 331 1810.