Agri-Tech webinar discusses the YEN approach

CHAP Innovation Sector Lead Martin Squire attended an Agri-Tech Express virtual webinar on 15th January.

YEN-Zero: Using the YEN approach to drive performance & reduce GHG emissions information was the first of a new short format (1 hour) webinar series from Agri-TechE.

Agriculture is a major source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and the sector has committed to change this urgently. While there are opportunities for mitigation through carbon storage in soils and vegetation, this webinar pointed to the potential for improved on-farm management practices to impact positively on crop GHG costs. Proof of progress in these areas requires accurate estimation and comparison of GHG emissions from fields and farms, and that is where the Yield Enhancement Network (YEN) approach comes in.

ADAS Head of Agronomics Daniel Kindred and ADAS Crop Research Consultant Christina Baxter presented on using the YEN approach and how it can be applied to reducing greenhouse gas  emissions while maintaining focus on driving improvements in yield performance.

Innovate UK funding, secured towards the end of 2020, is giving ADAS the opportunity to develop functionalities for the YEN Family, including starting a new network focusing on reducing the carbon costs of cropping, YEN-Zero.

With support from The Morley Agricultural Foundation (TMAF), ADAS has calculated the GHG intensities of cereal crops entered into the Yield Enhancement Network since 2013. This demonstrates considerable variation in crop related GHG emissions on-farm. It highlights in particular, the importance of emissions related to nitrogen fertilisers, and shows that high-yielding crops often have the lowest GHG intensities.

Daniel and Christina also considered the argument that producing higher yields on productive UK farms can mean that more marginal land elsewhere can be spared for nature.

CHAP Partner ADAS has been running the Yield Enhancement Network since 2012 to bring together farmers, advisors, industry, innovators and researchers to share data and ideas. It is now developing online ‘Dynamic Benchmarking’ to enable farmers to compare crops with their peers, selecting for soil type, location or other factors of interest, in order to develop benchmarking of crop GHG intensities, with the ultimate aim of improving carbon footprints.

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