If your Goldfish crackers are tasting a little more sustainable these days, you can thank a group of Pennsylvania and Maryland growers, along with their ag retailer and the Truterra™ Insights Engine.
Truterra has partnered with Campbell Soup Company, agricultural retailer The Mill and local farmers to use the Truterra™ Insights Engine to track, aggregate and report environmental and economic outcomes of on-farm stewardship practices across 10,000 acres. The participating farmers are growing wheat in rotation in the supply regions for several Campbell Soup Company brands, including the iconic Goldfish crackers.
Key findings after two years of the project include:
Participating acres were GHG emissions-neutral.
Nitrogen Use Efficiency (NUE) improved between 2018 and 2019.
Soil erosion declined between 2018 and 2019, a step towards improving soil health.
Such results would not be possible without farms like Clear Meadow Farm and Holloway Brothers Farm. The two farms are representative of a number of such operations, which are committed to advancing sustainability on their fields to protect and preserve their land for generations to come. By connecting Campbell Soup Company to growers and their ag retailers, the Truterra platform is making a difference in protecting the environment and enhancing the sustainability of the food system.
Zach & Greg Rose - Clear Meadow Farm
Zach and Greg Rose of Clear Meadow Farm are third-generation farmers. The two stress that being third-generation farmers with young children of their own makes it doubly important to be good stewards of the land for future generations.
Their proximity to the Chesapeake Bay has put environmental issues at the forefront of their focus. Participating in this program has allowed them to take a deeper look at how each stewardship practice they implement impacts soil and water health. “We feel that Truterra is one tool that can help educate people about agriculture,” Greg said. “We agreed to be part of this project because we feel it helps tell the farmer’s story of how we are doing our part to protect the environment.”
Working with Truterra and The Mill, Zach and Greg have been able to build on their environmental practices and also implement new ones, including cover crops, no-till, split nitrogen application, zone soil sampling and variable rate nutrient applications. In addition, they use the results from the Truterra™ Insights Engine to educate about agriculture and help tell the story about where food comes from. “The Truterra™ Insights Engine has given us the data to assure that the practices we have implemented over the past few years not only benefit the environment by being more sustainable, but also are more economically profitable for our farm business,” adds Zach.
Jeff & Rick Holloway - Holloway Brothers Farm
The Holloway Brothers Farm sits on the banks of the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay. Jeff and Rick Holloway focus on stewardship from both a financial and environmental standpoint, especially nutrient usage and soil conservation. “Stewardship is important because it will determine the future of farming in our area,” Jeff says.
The two farmers work with The Mill, their local ag retailer, to ensure the best application and timing of nutrients for the best possible crop health with less nutrient runoff. Their farm is 100% no-till, and they use cover crops when they can. Jeff and Rick have seen benefits from their stewardship practices including healthier soil, less soil erosion and better crop yields, without increasing the cost of production.
Jeff and Rick also see value in sharing their story. This year, they put up Truterra field signs to promote the fact that Truterra is the only farmer-owned, farmer-driven sustainability program in the U.S. The signs have sparked interest in what they are doing within their community. “We have been asked about the Truterra signs that have been placed near our fields and have been able to explain to the public the importance of good stewardship while producing safe and sustainable food,” Rick says.
Recently, Truterra and Campbell Soup Company released a recap of the kind of results Zach and Greg and Jeff and Rick had already been experiencing. The results highlighted how just two years in, the partnership already has made an impact and demonstrated the power of connecting the entire food chain to drive change while better connecting what is happening on the farm with consumers. Today’s 10,000-acre program, however, is just the beginning. Truterra and Campbell Soup Company are continuing to scale the model, with a total of 70,000 acres now enrolled in the Truterra™ Insights Engine across Maryland, Pennsylvania and Ohio.