Seed World

Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN Debuts Digital Platform to Support Stewardship


Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN announced its plan to roll out the Truterra Insights Engine, an interactive on-farm digital platform that will help farmers advance their stewardship goals and return-on-investment in real time, acre-by-acre and help food companies measure sustainability progress. The platform will be available this year as the core tool under the new Truterra brand. The full suite of the Truterra offering aims to advance the agricultural industry’s ability to enable conservation at scale across a variety of crops, commodities and commitments.

“Truterra holds tremendous potential to harness stewardship to drive value by providing data-driven insights from farm-to-fork,” says Matt Carstens, senior vice president of Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN. “Using the Truterra Insights Engine, farmers and food companies will have the ability to establish and report clear metrics, create customized stewardship strategies that meet farmers where they are in their sustainability journey, and use a common language for on-farm stewardship that holds meaning and value. It’s a major step forward in supporting food system sustainability that starts on the farm.”

One of the biggest challenges in understanding and enhancing the sustainability of our food system remains a lack of comprehensive tools that can quantify economic and environmental benefits for farmers to identify farm management options. The Truterra Insights Engine, along with other technology services and tools under the new Truterra suite of offerings, will help to fill this need by providing tangible conservation options and benefits customized to every business.

The Truterra Insights Engine leverages agronomic expertise and technical capabilities from a variety of contributors to enhance the value of stewardship across the supply chain. Such collaborations include USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and integration of the sustainability metrics of Field to Market’s Fieldprint Platform. The Insights Engine even ties into major private-sector commitments such as Walmart’s Project Gigaton.

For farmers and agricultural retailers, the Truterra Insights Engine will utilize soil, weather, economic, and farm management data to create customized reports showcasing the potential impacts of various stewardship practices, providing field-by-field insights, tracking against both economic performance and conservation practices. Together, the economic and environmental results will facilitate the long-term productivity and success of our farmers and food system.

A key differentiator for this platform from other data tools is its design to be of value for farmers first and foremost. It was created by a farmer-owned cooperative, to be used by farmers, agricultural retailers, and agricultural experts to improve on-farm economic and natural resource stewardship. The benefits of the platform span the food value chain, but it was built to start with the farmer and deliver value back to the farm.

Importantly, the Truterra Insights Engine will measure and track stewardship progress over time. In addition to helping farmers make the right choices for their business, these expanded metrics will help food companies achieve their sustainability goals, leading the industry toward a more sustainable food system.

While created by Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN, Truterra and the Truterra Insights Engine are bigger than Land O’Lakes or the Land O’Lakes member-owner network. Today’s announcement underscores the importance of collaboration with industry peers and nonprofit organizations across the nation in support of farmer-driven stewardship to increase sustainability throughout the industry.

“Every farmer, farm and business is different both in how they operate and where they are in their sustainability journey,” says Precision Ag Territory lead Ashley Schmeling of Minnesota-based agricultural retailer Central Farm Service. “Our seed and agronomy professionals work beside our farmers every step of the production process to capture opportunities and support precision agriculture. It is our hope that the Truterra Insights Engine will help us do this more effectively and provide a more customized approach to each of our farmers.”

“Companies like Land O’Lakes that are providing advice and services to farmers are critical as we create a sustainable agriculture system,” says Larry Clemens, director of The Nature Conservancy’s North America Program. “In order to achieve our conservation goals of soil health and nutrient management across America’s farmland, it’s vital that companies across the supply chain work with the farmers and advisors to both promote and evaluate sustainable practices. Land O’Lakes is setting a great example to support farmers on a journey to a sustainable future.”

“We’ve seen that the most effective way to encourage on-farm sustainability is to make data more available to farmers when making management decisions,” says Dan Sonke, director of Sustainable Agriculture, Campbell Soup Company. “Truterra is built on this same philosophy, and we are glad to be piloting this platform as we work with agricultural advisors The Mill, Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN, and Environmental Defense Fund on sustainable agriculture in our Chesapeake Bay wheat sourcing region.”

“Data-driven on-farm conservation protects our most valuable natural resources and puts money back in farmers’ pockets so they can continue growing food season-after-season,” says Sara Kroopf, supply chain manager at Environmental Defense Fund. “We are excited that Land O’Lakes is working hard to tackle the data and tracking challenge by developing a user-friendly program to collect and analyze data. This will allow agricultural retailers and other trusted advisers to write customized stewardship prescriptions for each farmer, and provides essential data to measure environmental progress in the Chesapeake Bay.”