Company commitment to more sustainable production on 2 million acres of corn.
Increase Sustainable Land Stewardship Practices
Helping Grain Farmers Do More
Impacting 2 million acres requires broad support. Tyson sponsored a Nutrient Management Summit in 2018 that brought together more than 30 leaders of the corn supply chain, including professors from three major universities, representatives of the grain and animal agriculture commodity groups, seed and fertilizer dealers, the Environmental Protection Agency, the United States Department of Agriculture, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and the Nature Conservancy.
Based on insights from the gathering, we launched two projects in early FY2019 in partnership with EDF. The first project involves two pilots expected to scale sustainable agriculture practices on 500,000 acres of corn to reduce GHG emissions, improve water quality and maximize farmer profitability. This effort will also help us meet our 2020 land stewardship goal.
The pilots will leverage the power of cloud-based agricultural technologies that collect and analyze information about agricultural production practices while protecting data privacy. The first pilot will equip a network of agronomists with MyFarms, a farm management software program, to provide farmers with insights about the value of conservation practices. This pilot will incentivize agronomists to work with farmers to adopt more sustainable practices.
The other pilot, in partnership with Farmers Business Network (FBN), will incentivize farmers directly. FBN will share data with its network of 7,600 farmers who span nearly 30 million acres, as well as offering discounts and technical and agronomic assistance. Each pilot will run for three years, and we will review progress annually.
A second EDF project is focused on the Chesapeake area where Tyson has more than 1,200 team members and approximately 100 poultry producers who depend upon good water quality in and around this watershed. To further our land stewardship efforts, EDF will advise Tyson as we conduct a pilot project on the Delmarva Peninsula.
This pilot will utilize Tyson’s current FarmCheck® animal welfare audit program to develop a FarmCheck Plus program that includes environmental aspects of on-farm practices. FarmCheck Plus will be used as a continuous improvement model for on-farm poultry litter and mortality management practices. Specifically, we will develop an audit protocol and conduct internal audits to review compliance at the farms of contract producers. We also will use Professional Animal Audit Certification Organization (PAACO) service to conduct third-party audits. In addition, we will develop a baseline assessment to further understand how independent poultry producers on the Delmarva Peninsula utilize litter.