Chapter 5 - NFR 3 - Agriculture

Last updated on 27 Feb 2018 10:23 (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 HAENEL et al., 2018 [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 2016 the agricultural sector emitted 629.2 Gg of NH3 , 126.4 Gg of NOx, 204.1 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 Haenel et al. (2018) [1], Chapter 2.

As displayed in the diagram below, in 2016 95.0 % of Germany’s total NH3 emissions derived from the agricultural sector, while nitric oxides reported as NOx contributed 10.4 % and NMVOC 19.4 % to the total NOx and NMVOC emissions of Germany. Regarding the emissions of PM2.5, PM10 and TSP the agricultural sector contributed 5.1 % (PM2.5), 19.1 % and 22.8 %, respectively, to the national particle emissions.
HCB emissions of pesticide use contributed 77 % to total German emissions.

Recalculations and reasons

(see 11.1 Recalculations)
In the following paragraph the most important reasons for recalculations will be addressed. The need for recalculations arose from the use of the new EMEP guidebook edition (EMEP 2016) [10] and improvements in input data and methodologies (for details see Haenel et al. (2018) [1]).
Differences of the agricultural emissions between the submission 2018 and the previous submission (submission 2017) are due to the issues listed below.

  • Dairy cows, heifers and male beef cattle: Update of weight data for some years; update of milk yield for 2014 and 2015.
  • Pigs: Update of air scrubber frequencies, leading to higher NH3 emissions because those frequencies are lower than that used in submission 2017.
  • 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.
  • Broilers: The national gross production of broiler meat of the year 2015 was updated.
  • PM2.5, PM10 and TSP emissions: Some of the emission factors were updated according to EMEP (2016) [10]); see sectors 3.B.
  • Anaerobic digestion: Time series of substrate data and distributions of gastight storage were updated, with minor effects on NH3 - and NOx-emissions from cattle, swine and poultry (3.B) and NOx-emissions from application of animal manures to soils (3.D). The same holds for digestion residues from energy crops (3.D and 3.I).
  • Application of mineral fertilizers: According to EMEP (2016) New emission factors were used according to EMEP (2016) [10]); see sector (3.D).
  • Application of manure and digestion residues: Activity data on application of slurry and liquid digestates could be updated using data from the 2016 official agricultural census. In addition this census provided, for the first time, official activity data on the application of solid manure.
  • Application of sewage sludge to soils: Emissions of NH3 and NOx are reported for the first time (according to EMEP (2016) [10])); see sector (3.D)
  • Grazing: According to EMEP (2016) [10]) a new NO emission factor for grazing was used.
  • Pesticide application: The emission factor was changed from 0.5 to 1. Update of max. concentration of HCB impurity in picloram from 2005 until 2015 and update of max. concentration of HCB impurity in chlorothalonil from 1990 until 2000.

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 Haenel et. al. (2018) [1]).
Changes of data and methodologies are documented in detail (see Haenel et. al. (2018) [1], Chapter 3.5.2).

A comprehensive review of the emission calculations was carried out by comparisons with the results of Submission 2017 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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17. Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009: REGULATION (EC) No 1107/2009 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 21 October 2009 concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market and repealing Council Directives 79/117/EEC and 91/414/EEC
18. Directive 2005/53/EC: Commission Directive 2005/53/EC of 16 September 2005 amending Council Directive 91/414/EEC to include chlorothalonil, chlorotoluron, cypermethrin, daminozide and thiophanate-methyl as active substances 2005/53/EC C.F.R. (2005).
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21. Directive 2016/2284/EU: Directive (EU) 2016/2284 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 December 2016 on the reduction of national emissions of certain atmospheric pollutants, amending Directive 2003/35/EC and repealing Directive 2001/81/EC (Text with EEA relevance ).
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23. BVL (2015) (Bundesamts für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit Braunschweig): persönliche Mitteilung der Wirkstoffdaten, 2015.
24. BVL (2017) (Bundesamts für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit Braunschweig): persönliche Mitteilung der Wirkstoffdaten, 2017.
25. Council Directive 91/414/EEC of 15 July 1991 concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market,
26. FAO (2015): FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) Specifications and Evaluations for Chlorothalonil, p 51.
27. FAO (2012): FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations)Specifications and Evaluations for Picloram, Table 2, p. 23.
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31. EMEP EB, 2012: EMEP Executive Body Decision 3/2012 in ECE/EB.AIR/111/Add.1 - Adjustments under the Gothenburg Protocol to emission reduction commitments or to inventories for the purposes of comparing total national emissions with them
32. EMEP EB, 2012: EMEP Executive Body DecisionDecision 2014/1 - Improving the guidance for adjustments under the 1999 Protocol to Abate Acidification, Eutrophication and Ground-level Ozone to emission reduction commitments or to inventories for the purposes of comparing total national emissions with them
33. COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING REGULATION (EU) No 540/2011 of 25 May 2011 implementing Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the list of approved active substances.
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