BSSi’s Green Side

Below are benefits provided by the Seed Sensing Technology (SST) that have positive environmental impacts:

The real-time feedback helps the farmer reduce misses and react to other planting issues that reduce the planter’s performance immediately. This reduces the gaps between plants and the used resources (fertilizer & in-furrow chemicals) within these gaps that have been placed there by the planter and/or spreader equipment. As well as the resources continued to be applied throughout the growing season.

The Seed Sensing Technology (SST) allows the farmer to plant his potato crop much more precisely, minimizing each plant’s footprint and making better use of all agricultural inputs used to grow the potatoes. Of all of the inputs, nitrogen fertilizer is by far the largest Green House Gas (GHG) emitter.

Seen below, is the GHG reduction produced from just a 1% reduction in nitrogen. By helping the farmer achieve more precise/ideal spacing improves marketable yield which reduces crop waste from non-marketable potatoes.

Our system also computes the farmer seed usage per acre and per field as the farmer plants. This can help the farmer accurately plan and predict his seeding needs resulting in less wasted seed at the end of spring.

The SST produces an accurate average spacing of the seed placement in real-time for each row. This average spacing is a rolling average of the last two hundred sets placed in the furrow. This large data set produces very accurate values for the average spacing, ex. 9.28”. This accurate average spacing number will be useful when potato production, it will enable the farmer to plant faster and not reduce spacing uniformity, making the one planting unit more efficient.

Currently, BSSi is working with independent crop agronomists on a multiple-year on-farm study to measure and amass field data with the goal of being able to better quantify the environmental benefits that each SST system can provide at the farm level.

Of all crop inputs, nitrogen fertilizer is by far the largest Green House Gas (GHG) emitter. Attached is the GHG reduction produced from just a 1% reduction in nitrogen that could easily be delivered from more precise planting via the Seed Sensing Technology.

GHG Impact – Improved Potato Seeding Technology

Emission factor for crop residue, organic and inorganic fertilizer N lost as N2O following application to soils for PEI
Leaching from crops, and subsequent conversion of leached N to N2O
Fertilizer application rate
Average ha planted to potatoes/year
Target acres covered/year
Projected increased efficiency seeding (decreased misses, better placement) = correlates to increased nitrogen use efficiency and decreased N2O emissions


21 g N2O/kg N/yr
30% - 0.30 leached. 0.75% - 0.0075 converted to N2O
207 kg N/ha
34802 ha
8000 ha
1% = 0.01


ECCC NIR 2020 (2018 value)
PEIFA 2019; Jiang et al. 2011; ECCC 2020; IPCC 2006
PEIFA 2019; PEI Factsheet 2018
2016 Agriculture Census


1. 0.021 kg N2O/kg N x 207 kg N/ha x 0.01 x 105000 ha = 4564.34 kg N2O decrease emissions/year due reduced direct volatilization

2. 4564.34 kg N2O/kg N x 298 x 1 t/1000kg = 1360.1 t CO2e/yr reduced

3. 207 kg N/ha x 0.3 x 0.0075 x 0.01 x 105000 ha = 489.04 kg N20 decrease/year from decreased nitrate leaching and subsequent conversion to N2O

4. 489 Kg N20/kg N x 298 x 1 t/ 1000kg = 145.73 t CO2e/yr reduced

Total GHG mitigation per year = 1505.8 t CO2e GHG impact/ year


Barrett, R., Burton, D., Nyiraneza, J., MacDonald, E., Stiles, K. 2018. Nutrient Management in PEI Potato Production. Agronomy Initiative for Marketable Yield. Available at:

[ECCC] Environment and Climate Change Canada. (2020). National Inventory Report 1990-2018: Greenhouse gas sources and sinks in Canada, Part 2. Available at:

[IPCC] Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (2006). 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories. Volume 4: Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Available online at:

Jiang, Y., Zebarth, B., Love, J. (2011). Long-term simulations of nitrate leaching from potato production systems in Prince Edward Island, Canada. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems. DOI 10.1007/s10705-011-9463-z.


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