Chapter 5 - NFR 3 - Agriculture

Last updated on 30 Aug 2017 16:54 (cf. Authors)

NFR-Code Name of Category
3 Agriculture
consisting of / including source categories
3.B Manure Management
3.D Agricultural Soils
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 3F. As field burning of agricultural residues is prohibited by law, emissions in category 3F did not occur (NO).

In the field of agriculture, no heavy metal emissions are reported. There is neither information nor a calculation method available (NA).

The pollutants reported are:

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

In 2015 the agricultural sector emitted 723.9 Gg of NH3 , 127.7 Gg of NOx, 208.5 Gg of NMVOC, 63.9 Gg of TSP, 50.0 Gg of PM10 and 8.2 Gg of PM2.5 and 5.1 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. (2017) [1], Chapter 2.

As displayed in the diagram below, in 2015 95.4 % of Germany’s total NH3 emissions derived from the agricultural sector, while nitric oxides reported as NOx contributed 10.8 % and NMVOC 20.4 % to the total NOx and NMVOC emissions of Germany. Regarding the emissions of PM2.5, PM10 and TSP the agricultural sector contributed 8.3, 22.6 % and 17.8 %, respectively, to the national emissions of PM.
HCB emissions of pesticide use contributed 60.2 % to total German emissions.

Recalculations and reasons

(see 11.1 Recalculations)
In the following paragraph the most important recalculations will be addressed. The need for recalculations arose from improvements in input data and methodologies (for details see Rösemann et al. (2017) [1]).
Differences of the agricultural emissions between the submission 2017 and the previous submission (Submission 2017) are due to the issues listed below.

  • Application of animal manure to soils: According to EMEP (2013) emissions from application of manure to soils are reported for the first time in sector 3.D.
  • Anaerobic digestion: Time series of substrate data and distribution of gastight storage have been updated. This has a minor effect on NH3- and NOx-emissions of cattle, swine and poultry in source category 3.B and on NOx-emissions from application of animal manure to soils (3.D). The same holds for digestion residues from energy crops (3.I and 3.D).
  • Dairy cows, heifers and male beef cattle: Update of weight data in a few 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.
  • Broilers: The national gross production of broiler meat of the year 2013 and 2014 was updated.
  • Application of manure and digestion residues: Based on an expert judgment the NH3 emission factor of slurry application with a slurry cultivator was set equal to the emission factor of slurry application with trailing hose with incorporation within one hour (the former slurry cultivator EF was somewhat higher than the trailing hose EF). The modification led to a slight decrease of NH3 emissions the effect of which, however, increased during the most recent years of the time series due to increased use of slurry cultivators.
  • Pesticide application: From 2009 onwards the information of maximum HCB concentration (10 mg/kg) is updated which is indicated by the authorisation holders.

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. (2017) [1]).
Changes of data and methodologies are documented in detail (see Rösemann et. al. (2017) [1], Chapter 3.5.2).
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.

By comparisons with the results of the previous year calculations and plausibility checks, a comprehensive review of the emission calculations was carried out.

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, DESTATIS) 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) and the EAGER group (European Agricultural Gaseous Emissions Inventory Researchers Network).

1. Rösemann et al. (2017): Rösemann C, Haenel H-D, Dämmgen U, Freibauer A, Döring, U, Wulf S, Eurich-Menden B, Döhler H, Schreiner C, and Osterburg B (2017), Calculations of gaseous and particulate emissions from German Agriculture 1990 – 2015. Report on methods and data (RMD), Submission 2017. Thünen Report 46, 423 p.
2. Reidy B., Dämmgen U., Döhler H., Eurich-Menden B., Hutchings N.J., Luesink H.H., Menzi H., Misselbrook T.H., Monteny G.-J., Webb J. (2008): Comparison of models used for the calculation of national NH3 emission inventories from agriculture: liquid manure systems. Atmospheric Environment 42, 3452-3467.
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6. Weingarten, P. (1995): Das „Regionalisierte Agrar- und Umweltinformationssystem für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland“ (RAUMIS). Berichte über die Landwirtschaft Band 73, 272-302.
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8. IPCC – Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (1996): 1996 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, Reference Manual (Volume 3).
11. NIR (2017): National Inventory Report 2017 for the German Greenhouse Gas Inventory 1990-2015. Available in April 2017.
12. Bailey, R. E., (2001): Global hexachlorobenzene emissions. Chemosphere, 43(2), 167-182.
13. Beall, M.L., (1976): Persistence of aerially applied hexachlorobenzene on grass and soil. Journal of Environmental Quality 5, 367-369
14. BVL (Bundesamts für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit Braunschweig): persönliche Mitteilung der Wirkstoffdaten, 2015.
15. Nielsen, Ole-Kenneth, Plejdrup M. S., Winther M., Nielsen,M., Fauser P., Albrektsen R., Mikkelsen M.H., Hjelgaard K., Hoffmann L., Thomsen M., Bruun H. G., (2014): Danish Emission Inventory for Hexachlorobenzene and Polychlorinated Biphenyls, No.103, 2014, Scientific Report from DCE – Danish Centre for Environment and Energy, Aarhus University, Department of Environmental Science, pp65.
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17. 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
18. 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
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