7. Agriculture (NFR sector 4)

Last updated on 10 Dec 2013 11:53 (cf. Authors)

NFR-Code Name of Category Method AD EF Key Source for (by1)
4 Agriculture see sub-categories
consisting of / including source categories
4.A Enteric Fermentation - - - -
4.B Manure Management see sub-categories
4.C Rice Cultivation - - - -
4.D Agricultural Soils see sub-categories
4.E Prescribed Burning of Savannas - - - -
4.F Field burning of agricultural wastes - - - -
4.G Other - - - -

Country specifics

There are no emissions under 4.A - Enteric Fermentation, 4.C - Rice Cultivation & 4.E - Prescribed burning of Savannas.
4.G: The only emission series calculated is for the POP HCH (Lindane). This POP has been regulated and subsequently banned, the emission faded out in 1998 (see Rösemann et al., 2011 [12]).

Short description

Emissions occurring in the agricultural sector in Germany derive from manure management and agricultural soils.

The pollutants reported are ammonia (NH3), nitrous oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM2.5,PM10).
Since Submission 2012 Germany does no longer report NOx emissions from biological N fixation (legumes) and crop residues as neither IPCC nor EMEP (2009) provide a methodology.
Also since 2012, NMVOC emissions from agriculture are not reported as the methodology used in previous submissions has been evaluated as not adequate by international experts (see Rösemann et al., 2013 [12]).

In 2011 the agricultural sector emitted approximately 529 Gg of NH3, 112.4 Gg of NOx, 6.1 Gg of PM2.5 and 38.8 Gg of PM10. The trend from 1990 onwards is shown in the graph below. The sharp decrease of NH3 emission from 1990 to 1991 is due to a reduction of livestock population in the New Länder (former GDR) following the German reunification. For the years following 1990 a slightly decreasing trend can bee seen. The 20-year difference between 1991 and 2011 is nearly the same like the difference from 1990 to 1991.

As displayed in the diagram below, in 2011 93.9 % of Germany’s total NH3 emissions derived from the agricultural sector, while NOx contributed 8.7 % to the total NOx emissions of Germany. Regarding the emissions of PM2,5 and PM10 the agricultural sector contributed 5.5 % and 18.6 %, respectively, to the national emissions of PM.

Recalculations and reasons

(see 11.1 Recalculations)

Recalculations, the most important of which will be addressed in the following, became necessary due to improvements in input data and methodologies (for details see Rösemann et al., 2013 [12]). All recalculations were carried out for the entire time series 1990 – 2011.

The difference between the agricultural NH3 emissions in Submissions 2012 and 2013 are partly due to an update of the N flux concept for animal husbandry (4.B). This methodological modification leads to a slight increase of NH3 emissions from spreading. In addition, updated animal performance data contribute to changes of NH3 emissions from animal husbandry (dairy cows: milk yields, live weights; heifers: live weights; pigs: number of suckling pigs per sow; poultry: animal weights for pullets and laying hens, national total of gross broiler meat production). For dairy cows there is still another source of increased NH3 emissions: The N input by skin particles and hair into the manure management is now completely accounted for.
However, one of the main contributions to increased total NH3 emissions from animal husbandry is caused by a change of the animal counting method in the official survey by Statistisches Bundesamt (Federal Statistical Agency).
As a consequence, “female cattle for slaughtering” are now considered to be part of the inventory category “suckler cows” rather than “heifers”. “Suckler cows” emit about 60 % more NH3 per place and year than “heifers”.
A certain compensation of these emission increasing effects is caused by a steadily increasing share of slurry being anaerobically digested. The modelling of anaerobic digestion and the storage of digested slurry has been newly implemented for the Submission 2013. Its impact on the emission calculations is discernible from 2004 onwards and yields an emission reduction of about 2.5 Gg of NH3 for 2011 (see 4.B Manure Management). An additional reduction of NH3 emissions is caused by the annually increasing numbers air scrubbing systems in pig husbandry which in effect was not accounted for in Submission 2012 due to input data error. For 2011 air scrubbing leads to an emission reduction of about 1 Gg of NH3.

The inventory calculates NO and consequently NOx from housing and storage as proportional to N2O. In Submission 2013, the N2O emissions are higher for all years which is a consequence of the new (higher) emission factor for solid manure storage. This increase is partly compensated (see 4.B Manure Management) by a reduction effect visible from 2004 onwards which is caused by a steadily increasing share of slurry being anaerobically digested (see Rösemann et al., 2013 [12]).
As to NO and PM emissions, there are slight differences between Submissions 2012 and 2013 which are due to changes in animal husbandry emission calculations and/or input data addressed above.

Visual overview

Chart showing emission trends for main pollutants in NFR 4 - 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. (2013)[12]).
For Submission 2013, methodological changes are documented in detail (see Rösemann et. al. (2013)[12], Chapter 1.3).

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.

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6. Weingarten, P. (1995): Das „Regionalisierte Agrar- und Umweltinformationssystem für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland“ (RAUMIS). Ber Landwirtschaft 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 (2013): National Inventory Report 2012 for the German Greenhouse Gas Inventory 1990-2011. Available in April 2013.
12. Rösemann C., et.al. (2013): Calculations of gaseous and particulate emissions from German agriculture 1990 - 2011. Not published yet (April 2013).
13. Stehfest E., Bouwman L. (2006): N2O and NO emission from agricultural fields and soils under natural vegetation: summarizing available measurement data and modelling of global emissions. Nutr. Cyl. Agroecosyst. 74, 207-228.
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