Chapter 5 - NFR 3 - Agriculture

Last updated on 26 Feb 2019 12:59 (cf. Authors)

NFR-Code Name of Category
3 Agriculture
consisting of / including source categories
3.B Manure Management
3.D Agricultural Soils
3.F Field burning of agricultural residues
3.I Agriculture other

Short description

Emissions occurring in the agricultural sector in Germany derive from manure management (NFR 3.B), agricultural soils (NFR 3.D) and agriculture other (NFR 3.I).
Germany did not allocate emissions to category field burning (NFR 3.F) (key note: NO), because burning of agricultural residues is prohibited by law (see Rösemann et al., 2019 [1]).

The pollutants reported are:

  • ammonia (NH3),
  • nitric oxides (NOx),
  • volatile organic compounds (NMVOC),
  • particulate matter (PM2.5, PM10 and TSP) and
  • hexachlorobenzene (HCB).

No heavy metal emissions are reported.

In 2017 the agricultural sector emitted 639.8 Gg of NH3 , 125.8 Gg of NOx, 202.4 Gg of NMVOC, 61.9 Gg of TSP, 30.8 Gg of PM10 and 4.6 Gg of PM2.5 and 11.7 kg HCB. The trend from 1990 onwards is shown in the graph below. The sharp decrease of emissions from 1990 to 1991 is due to a reduction of livestock population in the New Länder (former GDR) following the German reunification. The increase of NH3 emissions since 2005 is mostly due to the expansion of anaerobic digestation of energy crops, especially the application of the digestion residues. This is a new emission source which also effects NOx emissions. However, these emissions are excluded from emission reporting by adjustment, as they are not part of the NEC and Gothenburg commitments. The increase of particle emissions over time is mostly due to increasing poultry figures. Further details concerning trends can be found in Rösemann et al., 2019 [1], Chapter 2.

As displayed in the diagram below, in 2017 95.0 % of Germany’s total NH3 emissions derived from the agricultural sector, while nitric oxides reported as NOx contributed 10.6 % and NMVOC 18.9 % to the total NOx and NMVOC emissions of Germany. Regarding the emissions of PM2.5, PM10 and TSP the agricultural sector contributed 4.6 % (PM2.5), 14.9 % and 17.1 %, respectively, to the national particle emissions.
HCB emissions of pesticide use contributed 78 % to total German emissions.

Recalculations and reasons

(see 8.1 Recalculations)
In the following, reasons for recalculations with large impacts are summarized. The need for recalculations arose from and improvements in input data and methodologies (for details see Rösemann et al. (2019), Chapter 3.5.2 [1]).

  • Update of the N2O emission factor for solid manure systems (tight systems, loose housing), affecting - via N flow scheme - the potential of NH3 and NOx emissions during manure application (concerning all years).
  • Heifers: Correction of an error in the calculation of the energy requirements, resulting in substantially higher emission estimates (concerning all years).
  • Fattening pigs and sows: In some federal states activity data (weight gains, animal weights, piglets per sow) was updated for a few years. As the division of animal numbers between the inventory categories „fattening pigs“ and „weaners“ is based on part of the above mentioned data, the updating of the data led, in some years, to a slight shift of animal numbers between these animal categories. These changes of performance data and animal numbers had only minimal effects on overall pig emissions.
  • Cattle: Update of animal numbers in several years; in all years: update of the amounts of bedding materials for mature males older than 2 years.
  • Dairy cows: Update of milk yields in several years.
  • Dairy cows, heifers, male beef cattle: Update of feed characteristics (concerning all years).
  • Weaners and fattening pigs: Update of animal numbers and weight data in 2016.
  • Broilers: Update of the national gross production of broiler meat in 2016.
  • Anaerobic digestion of animal manures: Update of activity data in all years.
  • Anaerobic digestion of energy crops: Update of the amounts of energy crops in 2015 and 2016, and update of the frequencies of digestate application techniques and incorporation times in the years 2013 to 2016.
  • Application of sewage sludge to soils: Update of the activity data in 2016.

Visual overview

Chart showing emission trends for main pollutants in NFR 3 - Agriculture:

Click to enlarge.

Specific QA/QC procedures for the agriculture sector

Numerous input data were checked for errors resulting from erroneous transfer between data sources and the tabular database used for emission calculations.
The German IEFs and other data used for the emission calculations were compared with EMEP default values and data of other countries (see Rösemann et al. (2019) [1]).
Changes of data and methodologies are documented in detail (see Rösemann et al. (2019) [1], Chapter 3.5.2).

A comprehensive review of the emission calculations was carried out by comparisons with the results of Submission 2018 and by plausibility checks.

Once emission calculations with the German inventory model GAS-EM are completed for a specific submission, activity data (AD) and implied emission factors (IEFs) are transferred to the CSE database (Central System of Emissions) to be used to calculate the respective emissions within the CSE. These CSE emission results are then cross-checked with the emission results obtained by GAS-EM.

Model data have been verified in the context of a project by external experts (Zsolt Lengyel, Verico SCE). Results show that input data are consistent with other data sources (Eurostat, Statistisches Bundesamt / Federal Statistical Office) and that the performed calculations are consistently and correctly applied in line with the methodological requirements.

Furthermore, the GAS-EM model is continuously validated by experts of KTBL (Kuratorium für Technik und Bauwesen in der Landwirtschaft, Association for Technology and Structures in Agriculture) and the EAGER group (European Agricultural Gaseous Emissions Inventory Researchers Network).

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