Triple Bottom Line (TBL) Commodities Member Tim Richter Featured at Walmart Sustainability Milestone Meeting
Today, Walmart announced a new commitment to a “sustainable food system” at its most recent Global Sustainability Milestone Meeting in Bentonville, AR. Among the stories highlighted by the world’s top grocer was one from Triple Bottom Line Commodities member, Tim Richter – who farms in Iowa and Missouri.
Tim shared how he learned about an impressive fertilizer optimization tool, Adapt-N, through membership in the Triple Bottom Line Commodities group – which is a farmer peer group focused on sustainability and facilitated by Vela Environmental, a division of Kennedy and Coe, LLC. Farmer members of TBL Commodities are connected to knowledge about existing and emerging ag technologies that encourage even greater efficiency, and also to sustainability assessment trends coming from the food supply chain. This year, TBL Commodities members are undergoing Vela’s ResourceMax™ assessment process which will show farmers how they align with multiple supply chain sustainability efforts, allow for benchmarking members on key sustainability metrics and enable members to negotiate for greater shared value within the supply chain in the future.
At the Walmart meeting today, Tim noted that in 2011, he started using the Adapt-N tool, which provides highly accurate prescriptions for nitrogen use on corn by factoring in multiple variables that have not been fully accounted for by other systems. Adapt-N is able to anticipate nitrogen stress to avoid yield loss and also, to tell farmers when they don’t need to apply more nitrogen.
In 2013, Tim used Adapt-N on all of his fields and was able to get 40-50 bushels of increased yield per acre. This translated into about $150 of additional profit per acre. Multiply that by several thousand acres and that becomes a big number. Tim notes, “If this is sustainability, I’m on board!” Adapt-N is also helping Tim manage environmental risk like water quality and greenhouse gas emissions. “The nitrogen I applied ended up in the crop which is where we want it, not in the air or water – so it increases profit while reducing greenhouse gases and water quality problems” said Tim.