USA National Indicators and Corn Stover Protocol approved
The RSB supports operators in the USA with specific, national indicators and the Corn Stover protocol for sustainable agricultural residue use.
On the 14th November, at the Assembly of Delegates meeting in Vancouver Canada, the board of directors approved both documents.
This is how it works:
The RSB employs a risk-based approach to help users of the standard focus limited resources on issues that matter most, enabling better understanding and identification of problem areas and to provide support to improve agricultural practices.
To reinforce this approach auditors and operators can make use of the RSB’s Risk Assessment and Screening tool. In addition, and with the purpose of improving efficiency and effectiveness in the implementation and verification of the RSB Standard, a series of regional indicators has been developed.
A regional indicator defines how to assess compliance in a specific geographic context and they are developed once the RSB conducts a benchmark of its requirements – as defined in the RSB Principles & Criteria – against the existing regulatory context of that region. The results of the benchmarking process are then used to develop RSB regional indicators and pre-populate auditor checklists, thus making the access to certification quicker and easier for farmers and auditors alike.
Corn Stover Protocol
This protocol was developed to provide decision-makers with information regarding the practices and the metrics that should be adhered to by both farmers and auditors to ensure that any removal of corn stover (for cellulosic biofuel or bioproduct production) is done in a way that ensures soil health.
A wide range of USA stakeholders were engaged in the development of the protocol including the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) / NRCS Soil Science Division, the USDA Agricultural Research Service as well as US-based industrial and NGO participants to make sure the approaches and tools that are available in the US for soil management are incorporated in this procedure and the document is practical to apply.