A co-operation agreement aimed at decrabonising cereal cultivation in Germany through the use of green fertiliser has been signed between Yara Germany, a German milling group and a bakery.

As early as the 2023/2024 growing season, contract farmers of the Bindewald and Gutting Milling Group will use Yara’s green fertiliser on an area of around 1,600ha.

Norwegian green ammonia produced with hydropower, a renewable energy source, will be processed in the German town of Rostock, Yara Germany said.

This process involves obtaining the necessary hydrogen for ammonia synthesis through electrolysis, which results in a fertiliser with a CO2 footprint that is up to 90% lower than that of conventional methods.

The partnership with Bindewald and Gutting Milling Group, and baked-goods provider Harry-Brot will help in reducing the carbon footprint along the entire food value chain, Yara Germany said.

Green fertiliser

In total 74% of German consumers want product packaging to display the CO2 footprint, with 53% willing to pay extra for food produced with reduced fossil fuels, according to Yara.

“By using green fertiliser, grain CO2 footprints can be reduced by up to 30%, offering consumers a sustainable food choice and supporting climate-friendly production,” the company said.

An additional reduction in field emissions, according to Yara Germany, is attainable through the following:

  • Optimised fertiliser management;
  • Incorporating balanced crop nutrition;
  • The selection of the most efficient nitrogen form; and
  • Site-specific fertilisation tailored to crop needs.

The partnership has been described as a “crucial” first step to decarbonise German agriculture, and as a concrete example of how food production can be transformed in a sustainable way, by Yara Germany managing director, Marco Fleischmann.​​​​​​​

Bindewald and Gutting Milling Group, “one of Germany’s leading flour producers”, plans to use the pilot project to assess the CO2 footprint of its grain and monitor the product’s carbon footprint.

Signing the agreement are: Michael Gutting, managing partner of Bindewald and Gutting Mill Group; Norbert Lötz, managing director for production and technology at Harry-Brot; and Marco Fleischmann, managing director of Yara Germany. Source: Yara

In the partnership, “market leader in bread and bakery products”, Harry-Brot, will transform the resulting flour into high-quality food products, thus covering the complete value chain, Yara Germany said.

“The partners are looking forward to the close cooperation and are hoping for a pull effect in the sector, so that the joint approach to reduce the CO2 footprint in cereal cultivation is replicated by other players as well,” the company said.