Nitrogen use efficiency in Scotland: annual report 2023

First annual report under section 5(1)(c) of the Climate Change (Nitrogen Balance Sheet) (Scotland) Regulations 2022, and complements the latest published version of the Nitrogen Balance Sheet for the year 2020.

Nitrogen Use Efficiency

In 2020, the whole economy Nitrogen Use Efficiency (NUE) figure was 26.9%. Although the whole economy figure is dominated by food production, this figure is lower than the NUE for food production due to the inclusion of sources such as transport which produce no useful nitrogen outputs. The NUE for all food production is 29.6%, with the figures for aquaculture (29.9%) and agriculture (29.5%) being very similar. The 29.5% figure for all of agriculture comprises two extremely different values for arable agriculture (62.5%) and livestock based agriculture (10.1%). Livestock based agriculture is inherently less nitrogen efficient than arable agriculture because only a small proportion of the ingested nitrogen by livestock ends up in useful nitrogen-containing produce.

There were no revisions to previous estimates for 2019.



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