How to reduce potato carbon footprint

Whilst the use of fertilisers contributes to the carbon footprint of potato production, this can be significantly reduced by careful choice of the type and source of fertiliser and by using the fertiliser more efficiently.

Yara believes that to meet growing world population, food and energy demands, sustainable agriculture will continue to require mineral fertiliser inputs, but products need a low carbon footprint to reduce environmental impact.

Carbon footprint of ammonium nitrate production


By investing in new ‘best available technology’ that minimizes its carbon footprint, Yara’s manufacturing plants are rated amongst the most energy efficient in the world.

Indeed, by developing and implementing catalyst technology Yara has reduced N2O emissions from its nitric acid plants by as much as 90%. This reduces the carbon footprint of nitrate containing fertilisers we produce by 40%.

To get the most of the fertiliser at farm level you want to get the best Nitrogen Use Efficiency (NUE) from the fertiliser that you can. This comes from product selection, timing, rate, weather conditions, crop demand, soil properties and more to ensure that the fertiliser you are applying gets to the desired location and is taken up by the crop. By ensuring all these factors are taken into account then another 10-30% carbon savings can be made by minimising losses through leaching or volatilisation.

Therefore, by product selection and best practice growers can reduce their carbon footprint by half when using Yara’s nitrate fertilisers.

When we calculate the carbon footprint of our products, we include all emissions with global warming potential related to their production; from production of raw materials and energy use to final product and storage at the production site. We apply industry standard methodology developed by Fertilizers Europe to calculate the footprint of each product at individual sites. Our calculations are regularly verified by an independent third party, DNV GL (latest verification statement).

Yara Fertiliser Fertiliser Type Kg CO2e/kg product (max)
YaraBela Extran 33.5 33.5 AN (33.5%N) 1.25
YaraBela CAN 27 CAN (27%N)  1.04
YaraVera Urea 46 Urea (46%N) 1.52
Yara UAN 30 UAN (30%N) 1.06
YaraLiva CN 15.5 CN (15.5%N) 0.65
YaraMila NPK 15-15-15 NPK (15%) 0.80


We also work with the Cool Farm Alliance to enable growers globally to make more informed on-farm decisions that reduce their environmental impact. The alliance provides the Cool Farm Tool, which helps farmers to optimize their farming operations to reduce GHG emissions.

Furthermore, by enhancing N efficiency in fertiliser use – through proper selection and use of these nitrate based fertilisers, growers can minimize losses from leaching or volatilization and contribute another 10-30% in terms of carbon saving.

Thus, by selecting and using Yara’s lower carbon footprint nitrogen fertilisers, in a targeted manner, producers can effectively halve carbon emissions from their plant nutrition programme.