Carbon calculator

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The "Carbon Calculator" is a user-friendly and comprehensive software tool developed as part of a project aimed at assessing and promoting carbon-neutral or low-emission farming practices among European farmers. In response to the European Union's target of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 20% in 2020 compared to 1990 levels, the tool calculates GHG emissions from farming practices and suggests mitigation actions at the farm level.

The calculator is accessible to users with basic computer and agronomic knowledge and is available for free download. It features a user interface built in Excel with Visual Basics for Applications (VBA) for macros and user forms, making it user-friendly. The accompanying User Guidance Manual provides step-by-step instructions for data entry and result analysis.

Assessments using the Carbon Calculator are conducted at the farm scale, covering a one-year reporting period and considering EU-27 specificities. It employs a life cycle approach, encompassing all emissions from inputs to the farm gate, including both direct and indirect GHG emissions. Additionally, the tool evaluates carbon stock changes in soils and on-farm trees.

The Carbon Calculator is a valuable resource for a wide range of users, including farmers, agricultural advisors, and trainers. It enables comparisons of farming practices among farms producing similar products and even offers a GHG label for farms and their primary products.

While the tool is highly beneficial, it has limitations such as not accounting for end-of-life inputs and not extending GHG assessment beyond the farm gate. It is recommended that users refer to the User Guidance Manual to maximize the tool's effectiveness.

Overall, the Carbon Calculator plays a crucial role in assessing and mitigating GHG emissions in European agriculture, aiding in identifying relevant mitigation measures and promoting sustainable farming practices.