Introducing YEN Zero – Tackling the carbon costs of cropping

February 17, 2021

ADAS, the UK’s largest independent agricultural and environmental consultancy and an RSK company, has launched YEN Zero, a new network focusing on reducing the carbon costs of cropping. Yield Enhancement Network (YEN) members can currently compare the characteristics of their crops and fields, such as soil type, yield, quality and nutrition, to those of their peers. With funding from Innovate UK, YEN Zero will take this one step further and enable the benchmarking of crop greenhouse gas (GHG) intensities. It will bring together organisations and individuals interested in calculating, comparing, understanding and reducing their carbon footprints.

With support from The Morley Agricultural Foundation, ADAS has been able to calculate the GHG intensities of cereal crops that have been entered into the YEN database since 2013. The results have demonstrated a wide variation in crop GHG costs between the farms and have highlighted the importance of emissions related to nitrogen fertiliser. They also showed that high-yielding crops often have the lowest GHG intensities. YEN Zero will use these data as the basis for comparing the carbon costs of crops and sharing the knowledge gained from the study’s findings.

The agricultural industry has committed to reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2040, so, for arable farmers, this will require substantial reductions in the GHG intensities of crop products and increased storage of carbon in the farm system.

“YEN Zero will help growers to come together to understand the issues, to adopt common metrics and to share ideas and experiences to find what works,” commented Dr Daniel Kindred, Head of Agronomics at ADAS. “This will be vital for a net-zero approach to be widely and successfully adopted.”

YEN Zero Logo

Learn more about YEN Zero

If you are interested in finding out more, or would like to sign up to get involved, visit the ADAS YEN Zero webpage.

About ADAS

ADAS is the company’s registered trading name and is not an acronym. ADAS was acquired by the RSK group in 2016 and is an independent provider of research and consultancy concerning two major issues of our time: securing our food and enhancing the environment. ADAS bridges academia and practice, and provides technical understanding; rural development and policy advice; and research, consultancy and contracting services to a wide range of organisations in both the private and public sectors.

ADAS is independent but fully understands both government and commercial needs, particularly those of farmers and others in the agricultural industry. Its expertise is based on evidence and underpinned by science, and its core disciplines focus on balancing profitable production with minimum environmental impact thereby reducing waste, water and energy use to ensure future sustainability.

ADAS has more than 400 staff, covering more than 60 specialisms and operating from a network of offices and research sites in England and Wales. For more information, please visit

About YEN

The Yield Enhancement Network (YEN) was set up by ADAS in 2012 and is now a well-known collaborative industry initiative. The YEN is supported entirely by corporate sponsorship, subscriptions and self-help. It is open to all organisations, agronomists, farmers and researchers. The principal aims of the YEN are to identify and support arable innovators and thus to drive understanding of yield determination and to inspire initiatives for yield improvement across the industry. Thanks to the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board and other research sponsors, the YEN is increasingly providing a platform for effective communication and synergy between farms, industry and academia.