Cargill has partnered with The Nature Conservancy and Nestlé Purina to launch a three-year water sustainability programme, which aims to reduce water waste in the beef supply chain.
Launching in Nebraska, the project will see farmers install weather sensors in crop fields which will help determine how regularly crops need to be irrigated, and the partnership claims the project could save up to 2.4 billion gallons of water over three years.
According to Cargill, up to 50% of water used in US beef production is used to irrigate raw crops. However, by utilising these tools the amount of water needed for row crop irrigation is greatly reduced, lowering the environmental impact of the beef supply chain.
Farmers on the programme will be issued with Field to Market’s FieldPrint Platform to track the progress of the project, and the project could be introduced to other states in the near future through collaboration with the Midwest Row Crop Collaborative.
Hannah Birge, water and agriculture program manager at The Nature Conservancy said: “By using smart weather sensor technology in row crop irrigation, this program could help save 2.4 billion gallons of irrigation water over three years, which is equivalent to roughly 7,200 households over that time period.
“The reduction of pumping also means less energy used and less labour expense for farmers.”
Courtney Hall, Cargill technical sustainability manager added: “Farmers are continually innovating to bring food to the table more sustainably.
“By working with them, and alongside The Nature Conservancy and Nestlé Purina, we’re scaling these solutions around water conservation to ensure an even more sustainable future for beef supply chains.”
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