Agricultural Data Flow Analysis for Carbon Credit Generation
Request for Proposals
Released Monday, January 05, 2016
Project: Demonstration of a Scalable Nutrient Management Project to Reduce Nitrous Oxide Emissions
and Generate Voluntary or Compliance Greenhouse Gas Credits, USDA-NRCS Conservation Innovation
Project Lead: Sara Kroopf, Agriculture Project Manager, Environmental Defense Fund
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | 415-293-6115
I. Objective: Develop an understanding of the export of nitrogen management data from a farm in
order to determine a streamlined approach to agricultural carbon credit project data collection.
II. Scope of Work: An information systems professional (Consultant) will conduct a data flow analysis
of agricultural data needed to calculate verifiable greenhouse gas credits.
This gap analysis will focus solely on the top 5-10 software technologies (farm-level data collection
technologies) that collect nitrogen application information (nitrogen field prescriptions and/or as-
and compare these data sources to the input requirements for nitrous oxide calculation
models (COMET-FARM, DNDC, PNM model, and the MSU-EPRI calculation).
While nitrogen prescriptions and as-applied map data may be recorded by hand, significant efficiencies
can be realized through the use of data collection software that gathers the information needed for
nitrous oxide quantification methodologies. A list of the data requirements for calculation models is
included as Exhibit A at the end of this document.
The analysis will provide answers to the following questions about agricultural data collected on-farm by
each of the top 5-10 software technologies to determine how well these tools map to nitrous oxide
calculation model requirements:
A. Technology Capabilities
1. Is the technology already compatible with or connected to a nitrous oxide calculation model?
2. Is there data QA/QC done by the software technology?
3. Are there any technological barriers that impede data accessibility?
B. Spatial Data
1. What formats are available?
2. Are data formats proprietary?
3. Is data export done field by field or can whole farm be done with a single click?
4. What format is spatial data in, polygonal or point?
o What is required to convert point data to polygonal?
Top tools to be determined by Consultant as the most used software technologies that collect nitrogen
application information (nitrogen field prescriptions and/or as-applied data). Examples may include SST Software,
Dupont-Pioneer Encirca, My JohnDeere, Trimble AGRI-DATA Solutions, AgLeader SMS Software etc., variable rate
technology software or other applicator software used with equipment with GPS and a data logger.
C. Aspatial data
1. List available file formats for each data set.
2. List data points available in each data set.
Results of the analysis will be summarized to determine how to streamline data collection and facilitate
increased agricultural participation in carbon markets.
1. Top 5-10 software technologies that collect nitrogen application information (nitrogen field
prescriptions and/or as-applied data)
2. Gap analysis that compares data sources (software technologies) and nitrous oxide model
IV. Payment: $15,0002
V. Key Assumptions:
Myriad tools and platforms exist for the collection, transfer, and analysis of farm data.
Historically, farm records of data needed to generate carbon credits have been kept in multiple
formats, locations, and programs.
It is possible to improve linkages among various tools, platforms, and models.
By identifying key ways to streamline data connections, we will reduce significant barriers to
agricultural producer participation in carbon markets.
Knowledge of the top data collection software and data export options will be critical to
maximizing the potential return to farmers.
RFP Released January 5, 2015
RFP Questions Due to EDF January 11, 2016
EDF Responses January 13, 2016
Bids Due January 20, 2016
Project Timeframe January 25 – March 18, 2016
VII. Bidder’s Primary Contact for the RFP: Identify a contact person for the RFP, including contact
person’s name, title, organization name, mailing address, phone number, and e-mail address. Bidder
may also indicate other contacts within its organization that should be copied on email correspondence.
VIII. General Proposal Requirements: Provide a written description of work to be performed, not to
exceed 3 pages, single-spaced, 12 point font.
Note: Contract will be subject to terms and conditions standard for a subcontract under a federal grant.
Data for carbon credits from optimized nitrogen use
Maximum yield (estimate and then actuals)
Number of tillage events
Date of tillage events
Depth of tillage events
Number of fertilizer applications
Date of each fertilizer application
Type of fertilizer
Fertilizer application rate
Number of organic applications per year
Date of application
Type of organic amendment
Number of irrigation events
Date of irrigation
Irrigation application rate
Additional details of the data required for specific nitrous oxide calculation models will be provided to the