The aim of this study is to evaluate the efficiency of spring barley cultivation to indicate the reasons for its inefficiency and assess the possibility of the carbon footprint reduction potential. Survey data from 113 farms cultivating spring barley in 2016 were used. DEA (Data Envelopment Analysis) input oriented models were applied to assess technical, pure technical and scale efficiency. The carbon footprint of crop cultivation and its reduction potential for inefficient farms were estimated. The Fractional Regression Model (FRM) was used to explain how farm specific variables (structural and environmental factors) influence the efficiency of spring barley cultivation. Results indicate that the improvement of spring barley cultivation technology, through the effective use of inputs, especially mineral fertilizers, could lead to a reduction in the carbon footprint of its cultivation by an average of 32%, which, in turn, leads to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 744 kg CO2 e per ha. The economic size of farms, farm area, soil quality and annual rainfall significantly affect the results of technical efficiency.