YEN Zero to launch in July 2021

Christina Baxter

Launching in July 2021, a new network YEN Zero will bring together the entire supply chain, from food and drink manufacturers and supermarkets to fertiliser companies and growers, to help meet the farming industry’s target of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2040. 

Calculating crop carbon footprints

Production of arable crops, especially cereals and oilseeds, contributes to farm greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, primarily through the use of artificial nitrogen fertilisers and cultivation choices. Currently, there is no standard way of estimating GHG emissions from crop production, making it difficult for those further up the supply chain to quantify the agricultural contribution to their total emissions.   

YEN Zero will initially provide analysis and benchmarking of carbon footprints on a per-field basis, aspiring to extend to the whole-farm scale in the near future. 

Benchmarking of crop GHG intensities will enable fair and easy comparison of emissions between farms, fields and crops. It will be possible to see what agronomic practices are driving emissions and test which mitigation strategies work best on farm. Successful strategies may then be shared across the network. Researchers will also work directly with growers and their supporters to help optimise inputs.  

The network will create a space where:  

  1. Knowledge can be shared around key net zero topics   
  1. Metrics for calculating cropping carbon footprints can be agreed to create consensus across the industry     
  1. Mitigation strategies can be shared and tested on-farm to find out ‘what works’  

Discussion workshops  

From July 2021, ADAS researchers will host a series of workshops for YEN Zero members to gain and share knowledge on key net zero issues. These workshops will be run as open forums, addressing issues such as soil carbon sequestration potential, effective mitigation strategies, and methods for calculating carbon footprints.    

How can you get involved?  

Organisations currently engaging in YEN Zero include AHDB, Defra, BASF, Syngenta, Bayer, Origin Fertilisers, Hutchinsons, Nestlé,  John Fergus & Co and Glenmorangie and we are open to more. By becoming a sponsor of YEN Zero, organisations can demonstrate that they are taking part in bottom up research making strides to achieve net zero in agriculture.

“We are really excited to have such strong support from organisations across the supply chain to apply our YEN approach to tackling carbon emissions. By working together we can develop a shared understanding of the issues, and share ‘what works’ through the industry’s journey towards net zero”

Daniel Kindred, Head of Agronomics, ADAS 

The network is still looking for organisations who would like to join the YEN Zero initiative. If you would like to find out more about joining as a sponsor of the network, then please contact or visit our website

We would like to acknowledge Innovate UK funding which made the initiation of this network possible.