This document describes the preparation of datasets for the LCA Commons that represent unit process/ gate-to-gate operations for field operations (a.k.a. work processes e.g., soil preparation and planting for conventional tillage, applying fertilizer with incorporation) and farm implements (e.g., operation of moldboard plows, broadcast sprayers) used in the production of field crops. The data cover 49 types of field operations and 104 types of farm implements for 9 crops in 36 U.S. states, resulting in the development of almost 19,000 unit process datasets. The field operation and farm implement datasets described herein fall between the field crop production and the aggregated fleet equipment datasets already in the Commons.
Field operation datasets represent the use of farm implements for soil preparation and planting (by crop and tillage type); nutrient, pesticide, and micro-compound applications, as well as harvest. Whereas the key information source used for the development of the field operation datasets representing soil preparation and planting is the Energy Estimator for Tillage, developed by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the remaining field operation datasets (i.e., application and harvest operations) are based on a review of related literature and input from the peer reviewers. For the farm implement datasets, estimates of implement work, storage, construction, maintenance, and retirement are based on a review of crop budget and economic analysis tools and ASAE D497.7 from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE).
The data were aggregated to the state level using the fraction area covered by each Crop Management Zone in each state.