Wheat growers are invited to take part in a fertiliser survey to find out what is already being achieved on farms, thereby generating data that will enable the industry to measure progress towards becoming net zero.
The efficient use of artificial fertiliser is currently under the spotlight, with Defra’s consultation on urea fertiliser and in view of the NFU’s target for farming in England and Wales to become net zero by 2040.
One way to reduce the carbon footprint of farming is by increasing the efficiency of fertiliser use, as a key contributor to the sector’s carbon footprint. Increasing efficiency also offers savings to farmers.
But to achieve this, more data is needed on the current practice, says NFU crops board chairman Matt Culley. “As an industry we need to understand where we sit in terms of efficiency.”
The NFU has launched a nitrogen-use efficiency survey, which is open to all farmers, so that it can collect the data needed to establish this baseline to build from.
Mr Culley says the survey is really quick and easy to complete. It takes just 10 minutes and closes on 4 January.
Growers will be asked questions covering their 2019 wheat harvest yield, soil type, method and rates of artificial nitrogen fertiliser application and its various types, alongside the use of organic materials. Separate surveys can also be completed for each different parcel of land.
Those taking part will get an estimate of their nitrogen-use efficiency for the parcel of land and a summary report will also be available at the end of the project.