Ag Data Commons
LCA Digital Commons Unit Process Data field operations work processes and farm implements March 2015.pdf (2.08 MB)

Unit process data for field operations: work processes and farm implements version 1

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posted on 2024-02-08, 19:56 authored by Joyce Cooper

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.

Resources in this dataset:

  • Resource Title: LCA Digital Commons Unit Process Data field operations work processes and farm implements March 2015.

    File Name: LCA Digital Commons Unit Process Data field operations work processes and farm implements March 2015.pdf


USDA-ARS: 58-8201-0-149


Data contact name

Cooper, Joyce

Data contact email


Ag Data Commons

Intended use

These models were developed as specific, average or generic unit process or LCI results data sets for use in “Accounting” situations (C2) as described in European Commission - Joint Research Centre - Institute for Environment and Sustainability: International Reference Life Cycle Data System (ILCD) Handbook - General guide for Life Cycle Assessment - Detailed guidance. First edition March 2010. EUR 24708 EN. Luxembourg. Publications Office of the European Union; 2010.

Use limitations

These unit process models are aggregated to the state level. They may be aggregated regionally or nationally with proper documentation of the aggregation method.

Temporal Extent Start Date


Temporal Extent End Date



  • irregular


  • Not specified

ISO Topic Category

  • environment
  • farming

Ag Data Commons Group

  • Life Cycle Assessment

National Agricultural Library Thesaurus terms

LCA; LCI; life cycle assessment; life cycle inventory; unit process

Pending citation

  • No

Public Access Level

  • Public

Preferred dataset citation

Cooper, J.S. (2015) "Unit Process Data for field operations: work processes and farm implements, Version 1" University of Washington Design for Environment Laboratory, Unpublished report.

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