Rapid Assessment Case Study: The Environmental Information Infrastructure of Pulse Production in Canada
This brief case study assesses the information infrastructure being used to portray the environmental implications of lentil production in Canada. It was prepared to complement the report Linking Farm-Level Measurement Systems to Environmental Sustainability Outcomes: Challenges and Ways Forward. That report aims to help define and design tools and methods to improve existing measurement systems that link farm-level to landscape- and regional-level environmental impacts by exploring the issues and the information infrastructure required to share and understand those links. This case study illustrates the construction and use of a measurement system in the lentils value chain in Canada as it relates to the rise of sustainable agricultural practices, including conservation tillage and pulse production. The assessment includes the innovations, challenges and constraints related to this transformation. It also examines the common metrics and information infrastructure related to the rise of conservation tillage and pulse production, and the usefulness and gaps therein. Finally, it assesses the cross-scale interactions among different levels of assessment, from the farm to the federal level. This case study was selected because the environmental issues that gave rise to pulse production are well articulated. Environmental benefits and impacts from pulse production are also well-known and monitored by various organizations. In addition, the bulk of the crop is grown in a geographically well-defined area in Canada's Prairie region.