“Sandy” allows farmer to manage natural capital assets

THERE are now many companies offering farmers the ability to record and manage data in order to maintain their natural capital assets. Trinity AgTech is one of the better known and more established, used by large farming interests such as Velcourt, Barfoots and Neston Park. Their cloud-based platform, “Sandy”, allows farmers and land managers to get a broad overview of their natural capital assets, using a combination of modelled and primary input data. Sandy can be used through a web browser, for example on a desktop, ipad or tablet.

The company says that Sandy allows farmers “to navigate their natural capital, manage their sustainability journey, and build business resilience through new opportunities.” They describe Sandy as a “toolkit for measuring and optimising a farm’s carbon balance, biodiversity, water quality, productive and financial performance – and all in one place.”

Farmers can then use Sandy’s artificial intelligence to predict the impact of various management decisions on these assets – enabling farm businesses to make decisions that boosts profitability & sustainability.

Scott Millar from Trinity AgTech told 8.9 TV that “The main reason farmers come to us to start with is to look at their carbon position, so we not only look at emissions but also sequestration on permanent pasture, and upland and lowland peat as well.

“We look at the whole farm landscape; we don’t just look at data in isolation, we look at all the natural capital assets, so woodlands and hedgerows and try to give a true picture of what’s going on.

“We use modelled data, but we can take primary data too, so if a farmer has soil sample from over a number of years then they can be added into system and then we provide a hybrid approach – but because it’s modelled data we’re not asking farmers to go out and soil sample every field – it’s taking on-farm practices, inputs and production data and we run the models.”

Sandy uses standard IPCC 2019 Tier 2 and 3 methodologies, but also uses AI and other software data, to incorporate weather, soil type and grazing information.

The software also allows people to see their emissions and warming impact using the traditional carbon metric, GWP100, or the revised metric, GWP*, which gives livestock farmers a more accurate picture of the warming impact of their methane-emissions. Depending on who a farmer needs to report this information to, and how, it’s easy to flip between GWP100 and GWP*.

Millar said, “Sandy gives a true picture of what’s going on on-farm, and that can lead to many different avenues financially. The first point is really looking at efficiencies – most mitigation practices to reduce carbon footprints are intrinsically linked to inputs, so if you can be more efficient with your input from a farming and business point of view then that’s going to have an impact on your bottom line as well as reducing emissions.

Farmers also have the option to trade their natural capital assets. Trinity AgTech has a sister company called Trinity Natural Capital Markets, a marketplace which gives farmers the power and flexibility to sell credits that they’re happy selling to companies that they want to sell to.

The platform offers a two way dialogue between farmers and buyers, allowing conversations about how carbon is sequestered and biodiversity co-benefits and other things that help to drive the value and get the most out of a farm’s natural capital assets.

More information


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