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Project Summary

Start date:
27 June 2022
5 Years
Project Leader:

A major new five-year research programme to support the UK’s transition towards home-grown food production that is sustainable, carbon-neutral and has a positive effect on nature.

Lead partner UKCEH will work with Rothamsted Research, the British Geological Survey, the National Centre for Earth Observation and Plymouth Marine Laboratory on the £13.8 million programme, which has been named ‘AgZero+’. It is jointly funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

AgZero+ will bring together a community of researchers and farmers to test innovative farming systems at scale. It will balance the need to produce nutritious food with reducing greenhouse gas emissions and pollution, while at the same time enhancing biodiversity and soil health (a holistic approach known as ‘net zero+').


The programme will provide data from national sensor networks, satellites and a network of commercial study farms and study catchments. These will be made available to the research community and other stakeholders through data portals and advanced digital tools to support environmental planning and management.

AgZero+ builds on the success of the £12 million ASSIST (Achieving Sustainable Agricultural Systems) project, which addressed the challenge of feeding a growing population by making food production more efficient and resilient to climate change, and reducing agriculture’s environmental footprint.

Project Leader

Prof. Jonathan Storkey

Plant Ecologist

Team Members

Dr Jordana Rivero

Grazing Livestock Systems Specialist

Dr Gonzalo Irisarri

Ecology of rangelands and grazing

Prof. Simon Willcock


Dr Ian Shield


Dr Alice Milne

Spatial Statistician

Dr Ryan Sharp


Dr David Comont


Helen Metcalfe

Ecosystems Modeller

Dr Kelly Jowett


Martin Torrance


Dr Georgia Mitrousia

Engagement Manager

Dr Samantha Cook

Behavioural Ecologist


UKCEH,the British Geological Survey, the National Centre for Earth Observation and Plymouth Marine Laboratory