The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) has initiated a project to develop a new standard to establish a framework for developing programs that chart progress toward sustainable agricultural production.

The document, designated X629, Framework to Evaluate the Sustainability of Agricultural Production Systems, will include provisions for defining and benchmarking key performance indicators, setting goals, implementing strategies for continuous improvement, and reporting improvements. It will apply to all types of farming operations typically found in North America.

It is not intended that the standard constitute a framework for certification. However, it could be used in the development of such a program, or of an alternative self-assessment program.

ASABE is recognized worldwide as a standards developing organization for food, agricultural, and biological systems, with more than 250 standards currently in publication. Conformance to ASABE standards is voluntary, except where required by state, provincial, or other governmental requirements, and the documents are developed by consensus in accordance with procedures approved by the American National Standards Institute. For information on this or any other ASABE standard, contact Scott Cedarquist at 269-932-7031, cedarq@asabe.org. A current listing of all ASABE standards projects can be found on the ASABE web site at www.asabe.org/projects.

ASABE is an international scientific and educational organization dedicated to the advancement of engineering applicable to agricultural, food, and biological systems. Further information on the Society can be obtained by contacting ASABE at (269) 429-0300, emailing hq@asabe.org or visiting www.asabe.org/.