25 May 2022, Belgium: On 25 May 2022, the European Commission published the findings of a study related to the implementation of the Farm Sustainability Tool for Nutrients (FaST). FaST is a digital agriculture tool that can be operated on smartphones, tablets and computers. It will combine existing data with manual input from farmers to provide customised recommendations on crop fertilisation through a nutrient management plan, which will have economic and environmental benefits for farmers and society at large.
The new common agricultural policy (CAP) aims to foster a sustainable and competitive agricultural sector that can support the livelihoods of farmers, provide healthy and sustainable food for society, and help to create vibrant rural areas. To contribute to this overarching objective, Member States will be required to establish a system for supplying farmers with FaST as part of their national CAP strategic plans. FaST is considered a core platform for the generation and re-use of solutions for sustainable and competitive agriculture, contributing to the modernisation of the sector.
The FaST Navigator study (Nutrient management Algorithms, Valorisation of Inputs and greenhouse gas (GHG) Assessment – Tool for Optimization of Resources) sought to address one of the main challenges for the implementation of the FaST: the availability of operational models that are necessary to provide standardised and consistent advice on the use of fertilisers, across different conditions of data availability.
The results of the study have identified the models necessary to provide accurate quantitative advice about the use of fertilisers, as well as those necessary for the assessment of GHG emissions and their removal. The data requirements of these models range from very precise algorithms, based on detailed data, to more operational methods based on common data available to the vast majority of farmers.
The models that have been developed will facilitate the implementation of FaST by providing a standardised reference for calculation procedures. They will be fully open and accessible to encourage and facilitate their widespread adoption.
The results of the FaST Navigator study are accessible for administrations and private entities and are part of the support provided by the European Commission for the implementation of the FaST.