Sign up for NPL updates
Sign up for NPL updates

Receive regular emails from NPL to get a glimpse of our activities and see how our experts are informing and influencing scientific debate


Minimising the impact of agriculture on the environment and climate

Efficient agriculture to limit greenhouse gas emissions and environmental degradation

Improving crop yields to feed a growing global population

To meet the food demands of a growing population, food production will need to increase in a safe and efficient way. These efficiency increases need to be undertaken with minimal environmental impact, for example from agrochemicals and unsustainable farming methods. Climate change is creating a requirement for crops to become increasingly resilient to extreme weather and new approaches are being explored to ensure net zero compliant agricultural practices and food processing which consider this requirement. There is also pressure to decrease reliance on food imports to support security of domestic supply as the demands of a growing population increase.

To deliver the required efficiency gains and ensure a robust supply chain, the agriculture sector will need to address the measurement needs and challenges associated with:

  • optimising crop yield through agronomy, breeding and precision farming
  • understanding process emissions, their sequestration and minimisation
  • optimising livestock, manure and other biowaste emissions management to reduce leakage of methane, nitrous oxide and ammonia
  • supporting accounting for alternative land use and compensation for activities such as peatland restoration and afforestation.

If you would like to learn more about our work identifying the measurement challenges associated with efficiency in agriculture and land use please contact us.

Contact us

NPL’s research to help enable increased efficiency in agriculture

  • digital monitoring and imaging of crops using phenotyping and precision farming techniques
  • monitoring soil characteristics, nutrient content and water conditions for agronomy applications, such as soil compaction
  • assessing the environmental impact of air quality, water, soil and biodiversity
  • producing interoperable sensors and measurement technologies for agricultural emission measurement which are independent and traceable
  • building an agriculture emission inventory to validate activity data and emission factors.

The UK Government has set ambitious targets for transforming the UK’s energy system, outlined in the 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, the Energy White Paper and the Clean Growth Strategy, which each provide a robust framework for how the UK can deliver on climate action and meet these targets.

NPL is working to deliver on these strategies. We support world-leading innovation, and our research is helping to drive cost reductions and ensure deployment of low-carbon technologies. NPL’s research is also increasing our understanding of emissions and pollution, and we are working to improve how we measure key climate variables both on the ground and from space.

Case study

Using AI to convert food waste into sustainable chemicals


Case study

Improving the quality and efficiency of crop production


Working with NPL

Our researchers are at the forefront of new innovations that promise to deliver new solutions for environmental challenges. We play a vital role in providing the standards and assurance to accelerate new products to market and providing reliable data. Learn more about our research areas and working with our experts.  

If you have a research collaboration where our expertise can help, please can contact the team and discuss your challenge.

Contact us

Work with us

Our research and measurement solutions support innovation and product development. We work with companies to deliver business advantage and commercial success.
Contact our Customer Services team on +44 20 8943 7070