ARDEN HILLS, Minn. - Land O'Lakes SUSTAIN and Tate & Lyle have embarked on a project to improve sustainability on 1.5 million acres of U.S. grown corn.
Matt Carstens, senior vice president of Land O'Lakes SUSTAIN, says the collaboration will help farmers make the best decisions for their land and their finances.
"It's really putting the power back in the farmer's hand," he says.
Land O'Lakes SUSTAIN was launched in 2016 by Land O'Lakes, Inc. to provide tools and resources for sustainability throughout the food chain. Tate & Lyle is a global provider of solutions and ingredients for food, beverage and industrial markets. The two companies began working together in November 2018 to benchmark stewardship efforts on 300,000 acres of corn in Illinois and Indiana. Carstens says the new initiative is an extension of that.
Using Truterra Insights, a software platform owned by Land O'Lakes SUSTAIN, can measure the impact of efforts to protect the environment. Carstens says the software provides "a toolbox full of opportunities for farmers to evaluate an implement."
Participating corn farmers will receive customized support through their local agricultural retailer, to help drive measurable improvements in greenhouse gas emission reduction, nitrogen efficiency, water and wind erosion, and soil quality. Carstens explains that farmers will be able to see different outcomes based on past performance, allowing them to see what the difference would be with different nutrient management options or with putting less productive land into conservation programs.
"They don't have to assume what will happen to this outcome," he says.
As part of the program, Tate & Lyle will get county-level data on the enrolled acreage and will be able to explain the sustainability measures taken by farmers to its customers. The company wants to increase transparency throughout the food and beverage industry.
"Corn is our main raw material and we are proud to have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of U.S. farmers by supporting sustainable agriculture for the equivalent of the entire 1.5 million acres of corn we buy globally each year," said Nick Hampton, Tate & Lyle CEO, in a statement. "Through this unique program, we are demonstrating our purpose of improving lives for generations, helping to protect farmer livelihoods and supporting their work to protect natural resources by encouraging sustainable agriculture best practices."
"The Truterra Insights Engine is changing the game for sustainability led by farmers and their ag retailers. It's equipping them with new solutions, customized to every acre to help protect the air, soil and water, maintain a focus on the health of their business, and benchmark their progress in a way that's meaningful from farmer to fork," said Beth Ford, President and CEO of Land O'Lakes Inc., in a statement.
Carstens says anyone who wants to learn more should visit https://www.truterrainsights.com.