Baseline and business-as-usual (BAU) agricultural footprints for major farm types across England

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Zhang, Y. and Collins, A. L. 2021. Baseline and business-as-usual (BAU) agricultural footprints for major farm types across England. Rothamsted Research.

AuthorsZhang, Y. and Collins, A. L.

Recent June Agricultural Census (2016) data at EU WFD waterbody scale were integrated with UKCP18 baseline rainfall (1981-2010) and NatMap 1000 soil data to generate representative model farms for 90 Water Management Catchments (WMCs) across England. For each WMC, baseline agricultural footprints (zero uptake of on-farm best management interventions) and business-as-usual (BAU) footprints (with existing on-farm best management interventions) for the arable and lowland grazing livestock farms were quantified using the customised Farmscoper Decision Support Tool. The farm scale estimates include nitrate, phosphorus, sediment, methane, nitrous oxide, ammonia, FIOs, pesticides and energy use. Results are available for 553 cereal farms, 1228 general cropping farms, 2478 dairy farms, 1519 LFA grazing farm, 4616 lowland gazing farms and 5067 mixed farms. Each has a unique combination of major robust farm type (RFT), annual average rainfall (AAR) band and soil drainage status. Example data records for a catchment can be downloaded. Please contact the authors for obtaining the results for specific WMCs.

Year of Publication2021
PublisherRothamsted Research
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Keywordsfarming systems research
water quality
greenhouse gases
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Related Output
Funder project or codeS2N - Soil to Nutrition - Work package 3 (WP3) - Sustainable intensification - optimisation at multiple scales
Data files
Copyright license
Data type
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Geographic coverageEngland
Data preparation and processing activities

Within each water management catchment (WMC), farm type-specific summaries of holding number, cropping areas and livestock populations were averaged to represent typical farm structures for the model farms. Fertiliser application rates by major farm types as reported by British Farm Practice Survey for year 2011 to 2016 were downloaded ( and averaged to characterize the nutrient inputs. Typical manure spreading rates were assumed from Defra funded work.
For the scenario under business-as-usual (BAU), farm type-specific uptake rates of best management measures updated in 2019 were used. Separate rates were used to represent the impact of nitrate vulnerable zone (NVZ) regulations where appropriate.
Excel VBA routines were developed to automate the model farm creation, measure impact assessments, data extraction and analysis. More details on the modelling methodology can be found in the papers listed in the 'Related Output'

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