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Frequently Asked Questions

This page contains the most frequent questions we get from our clients and partners and answers to them.

Please follow this link for Product Release Notes.

General

What is the boundary of Agrecalc - to the end user?

The boundary for Agrecalc is to the farm gate. All transport to end users from the farm is not to be included in the carbon footprint.

Land and crops

How does a farm allocate land that is rented out seasonally and what do they with the land output etc.?

Agrecalc is an LCA tool that seeks to assign the emissions associated with agricultural production effectively. Where land is rented out by the landowner the guiding principle is that the carbon emissions are allocated to who ever generates the output. If the land owner / farmer rents land out to someone else then all the emissions are passed to the third party and do not reside with the landowner – if they are not your sheep they are not your emissions! The same applies to crops such as land let for potatoes – the landowner is not responsible for all  the fuel and fertiliser that the potato grower applies to the crops as they do not belong to the landowner.

After entering all the data on a mixed farm, where the cereals have been sold, only results for some enterprises appear in the results?

This is because an enterprise category has been omitted / unclicked e.g. combinables on the first data entry page – “Farm Report Data Entry”. You have to ensure that the enterprise category has been ticked and not unticked by mistake. Once it is re-ticked the results for cereals will appear.

On a farm with crops or grass, there are no figures for nitrous oxide emissions from crop residues to be seen in the results?

The Crop Residues calculation requires data to be added for Number of years crop is in the ground.

Is it possible for the tool to take peatland into account? I am working with a group at the moment who are commoners on a large, deep peat common which has been restored.

Not at present – though we are working on a collaboration to take this into account. For now, some of our soil specialists have been doing some additional survey work on specific farm and following guidelines in the Peatland Code to calculate potential emissions savings from peat restoration etc.

Livestock

When a farm calves in both the spring and autumn with the number of cows being split about 50/50. What enterprise should be selected so that the benchmarking in Agrecalc is as accurate as possible?

Agrecalc currently only allows one herd of beef cattle per farm at present therefore to capture all the enterprise data in one whole farm report then either a spring or autumn calving herd type will have to be selected. Agrecalc are developing a new version which will allow multiple herd per farm. The other alternative for now is to run two reports – the 1st with the Spring calving beef herd and the 2nd with the Autumn calving herd.

Please could you confirm how manure produced by livestock on the farm should be treated? Do we need to ‘export or transfer’ 100% of the manure produced in the manure management section if the farm uses all of its own manure? Should we be inputting anything into ‘imported and transferred organic manure’ when the crops are used by the farm only and not sold?

Where you are using the soil carbon module it is necessary to input the quantity and type of manures applied by grass or crop area. The soil carbon guidelines explain this.

What is the definition of digestibility used in Agrecalc calculations?

Ruminants – Agrecalc uses the IPCC calculations for– IPCC definition below

Feed digestibility (DE): The portion of gross energy (GE) in the feed not excreted in the faeces is known as digestible energy expressed as a percentage (percent). Feed digestibility is commonly expressed as a percentage of GE or as TDN (total digestible nutrients). The percentage of feed that is not digested represents the percent of GE intake that will be excreted as faeces”

We use the IPCC definition of digestibility for IPCC defines digestibility as the proportion of GE which is not excreted in faeces. Digestible energy is not exactly the same as metabolizable energy, as the latter refers to the portion of feed which is not excreted in faeces or urine. Guidance is included here https://www.ipcc-nggip.iges.or.jp/public/2019rf/pdf/4_Volume4/19R_V4_Ch10_Livestock.pdf starting on page 10.19, including guidance for default values.

Pigs and poultry – Agrecalc uses the GLEAM model for Tier 2) (because IPCC is only Tier 1) with a different definition of Digestibility = AME/GE

Validation

Would transport to hogg wintering count for distance travelled by external haulage?

Yes – transport is within the farm gate. Agrecalc calculates emissions to the farm gate – where farmers use external hauliers to move livestock, machinery, feed etc between one part of the farm business and another then this should be included under transport. Transport of livestock or grain from the farm to end user should not be included as this is beyond the farm gate.

How should imported sheep FYM or home produced sheep FYM (if using the soil carbon module) be handled as sheep FYM or sheep slurry (for sheep housed on slats) does not appear on the list of imported manures?

Please use cattle manure / slurry instead. A wider range of manures will be added to Agrecalc V2.0 .

Energy and waste

When calculating external haulage, would you calculate one way or round trip haulage for fertiliser, feed, hay, etc delivered to the farm and how many trips would you include?

External haulage – Agrecalc calculates emissions to the farm gate – not beyond. The embedded emissions for inputs such as feed and fertiliser are assumed to include delivery to the farm gate.  Therefore, the external haulage figures should not include the transport of inputs onto the farm nor of products off the farm to their final point of sale / processing.

The intended role of external hauliers in Agrecalc is to capture the movement of livestock or crops within the farming business – for example moving away wintering sheep to distant rented grazings.

Other transport using tractors is captured in the red diesel usage. Capturing the distance travelled by hauliers enables the carbon emissions from this to be captured too.

An arable farmer with their own lorry which hauls their own grain to the end buyer. Their white diesel usage is very high compared to an arable farmer that sells the grain ex-farm. Therefore, their emissions are going to be much higher as the calculator will be double accounting for haulage emissions?

The boundary for Agrecalc is the farm gate, So the farmer should be excluding white diesel used by their own truck(s) that is used for transporting grain from the farm to the end user.