Scottish agriculture greenhouse gas emissions and nitrogen use: 2022-23

Greenhouse gas emission estimates for the Scottish agriculture sector, agricultural subsectors and for average Scottish farms by farm type. Nitrogen use estimates for average Scottish farms by farm type.

An official statistics in development publication for Scotland

Highlights from the key points

  • In 2022 total agriculture emissions fell by 3% to 7.7 MtCO­­2e. Increased fertiliser prices may have contributed to the decrease in emissions, as usage rates fell from the previous year.
  • The suckler beef subsector has the largest share of Scottish agriculture emissions. In 2022 emissions from suckler beef were 3.2 MtCO­2e, 41% of agriculture emissions.
  • Nitrogen balance, the difference between total nitrogen input and output, fell by 28% for the average farm in 2022-23 and resulted in increases for nitrogen use efficiency estimates. On average this was driven by increased farm output.

Full publication and data

The full statistical publication with supporting data tables is available at

About these statistics

Results for the agriculture sector, along with national greenhouse gas emissions, were released in the Scottish Greenhouse Gas Statistics 2022 publication. The report includes new subsector analysis based on methodology developed by SRUC.

Subsector analysis allocates total Scottish Greenhouse Gas Statistics emissions from agriculture to subsectors that align more closely with agricultural enterprises.

Farm level results are calculated from the 2022-23 Farm Business Survey, which covered the 2022 cropping year and the 2022-23 financial year. The Farm Business Survey is 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 in the survey. 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: Methodology (

The data are designated as official statistics in development. They are being released to involve users in our assessment of the suitability and quality of the data.
Official statistics are produced in accordance with the Code of Practice for Statistics.

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