New estimates explore emissions and nitrogen use on Scottish farms

An experimental statistics publication.

The Chief Statistician has released new experimental figures on farm greenhouse gas emissions. Results show that gross emissions have been stable for most of Scotland’s main farm types over the last three years.

The results include new estimates of emission intensity and nitrogen use at farm level and for Scotland’s main farm types.

The analysis shows that nitrogen balance, the amount of nitrogen that might be lost to the environment, is lower on average in 2021-22 than the first estimate made in 2019-20.

New data on nitrogen use efficiency, the proportion of nitrogen used, allows for better comparison of farms and a view across types of farming.

Based on a sample of real commercial farms, these new data offer the potential for more detailed analysis of options for improving on-farm environmental performance than has previously been possible.


The data are designated as experimental as they are still in development. They are being released to involve users in our assessment of the suitability and quality of the data.

We would like to hear about your use of this data, please get in touch with us at

The full statistical publication, visual summary and supporting data tables are available at:

These results are calculated from the Farm Business Survey, an annual survey of approximately 400 commercial farms with economic activity of at least approximately £20,000. Farms which do not receive support payments, such as pigs, poultry and horticulture, are not included. On-farm emissions are estimated using a life cycle assessment (LCA) based carbon calculator (Agrecalc). Nitrogen estimates are based on standard estimates of nitrogen content in all farm inputs and outputs where possible. More information is available at:

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Official statistics are produced in accordance with the Code of Practice for Statistics.


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