Nitrogen budget - Agriculture Sweden

To better understand the magnitude of reactive nitrogen flows in a country, a national nitrogen budget can be constructed. In this report, we use a methodology developed by the Expert Panel on Nitrogen Budgets (EPNB) under the Task Force for Reactive Nitrogen (TFRN) and describe the flows of nitrogen in agriculture in Sweden in 2015.

The primary source of data presented in this report are data reported to Eurostat and UNFCCC regarding gross nutrient balance and greenhouse gases. The flows of nitrogen not covered by Eurostat and UNFCCC originate from for example the national compilations of content of feed products and slaughtering weight of animals for consumption.

The largest inputs of nitrogen to agriculture are in the form of supply of inorganic fertilizer to soil (190 kT) and feed to animals (59 kT). The largest outputs of nitrogen are in the form of products for consumers (eg crops, meat, milk, eggs) (171 kT) and emissions to the hydrosphere and atmosphere (93 kT).

In total, the inputs were 15 percent larger than the outputs, which is well within the differences found in other countries. The difference may be due to uncertainties in the collected data or that further flows may occur. Such flows should be identified and investigated in the future. The difference may also indicate that the pool of nitrogen in agriculture is not in balance, i.e. nitrogen is stored in the soil.

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