The European project GECO2 will release a software to assess farmers’ carbon budget. More accurate and comprehensive than currently available programs, the Carbon calculator tool aims to assess the carbon budget on the field. The target users will be orchard and vineyard farms.
Why such a tool? There is a number of free off-line calculators available online, but they all did not completely match the project requirements: some rely on unpublished algorithms or lack the latest agricultural practices like biochar. Some are no longer supported.
The application has been designed to run as easy and straightforward as possible. Farmers are asked to answer a few questions in order to receive an estimate of their carbon footprint. The Carbon Calculator Tool gauges many data, as climate, soil, crop and field management, agronomic practices and energy consumption. Pesticides and fertilisers enter the computation, as well as residue treatments.
The software computes the carbon budget expressed in three ways: according to the produce, per hectare and scaled to the actual field area.
«We took inspiration from a tool available online — says the lead developer, Antonio Volta— but we rewrote the code with some fundamental add-ons and the implementation of a new original algorithm».
The software is entirely written in C/C++ language. The alpha version took about a year to be developed. After review and debugging by the partners, the GECO2 project will release an executable release of the calculator next spring.
The European project GECO2, launched in 2019, is building an experimental market of voluntary credits of CO2e, involving together farmers, companies, public administration and the public opinion.GECO2 is funded by the Italy-Croatia Interreg programme; website: www.italy-croatia.eu/geco2.