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In the beginning of the 1990s, the balance surplus of nitrogen was more than 80 kg N/ha, after 2000 it started diminishing, and in the last years it varies between 20 and 50 kg N/ha a year.


The indicator presents the nitrogen balance in Slovenia for the period 1992-2008. The data on input and output of nitrogen from agricultural land, and the structure of input and output of nitrogen according to each source are presented, and a comparison with the EU-15 countries for 2000 is given.

The balance of nitrogen (N) in agriculture, according to OECD (2007) methodology, is defined as the difference between input and output of nitrogen from agricultural land. Sources of input of nitrogen in agricultural land represent mineral fertilizers, livestock manure, and other kinds of organic manures, biological nitrogen fixation, atmospheric deposition and nitrogen from the seeds and planting material. Output of nitrogen from agricultural land present harvested agricultural crops.


Charts

Figure KM22-1: The structure of input of nitrogen on agricultural land in Slovenia in the period 1992-2010
Sources: 

Agricultural Institute of Slovenia, 2011

Show data
1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001
Livestock manure t N 40195.2 37637 37502.4 38405.4 37645.8 37286 37900.4 38655.1 41090.7 40318.3
mineral fertilisers t N 38938 33376 33944 32235 31296 33999 34801 34380 34159 34765
biological fixation t N 8338.1 8291.4 8063.8 7874.5 7702.1 7414.1 7363.8 7478.9 7634.4 7644.4
deposition t N 4332.7 4288.4 4053.7 4303.1 3998.8 3898.7 3777.4 3727 3507.1 3761.4
seeds and seedlings t N 325.7 326.5 308.7 312.2 297.8 282.3 286.6 279.7 298.1 301.1
Total input N t N 92129.7 83919.3 83872.6 83130.2 80940.4 82880 84129.2 84520.6 86689.2 86790.1
Livestock manure % 43.6 44.8 44.7 46.2 46.5 45 45.1 45.7 47.4 46.5
mineral fertilisers % 42.3 39.8 40.5 38.8 38.7 41 41.4 40.7 39.4 40.1
biological fixation % 9.1 9.9 9.6 9.5 9.5 8.9 8.8 8.8 8.8 8.8
deposition % 4.7 5.1 4.8 5.2 4.9 4.7 4.5 4.4 4 4.3
seeds and seedlings % 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3
Total input N % 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2007 2010
Livestock manure t N 42504.7 39672 37857.4 38437.5 38695.8 40323.1 38673.4 38667 37766.6
mineral fertilisers t N 33412 34501 30264 29169 30383 29613 25039 28202 27486
biological fixation t N 7581.9 7645.6 7357.8 7631.4 7354.8 7477 7386.4 7027.4 7242
deposition t N 3812.8 3890.5 4227.3 4580.1 4609.6 4640.4 4836.3 5070.7 4978.5
seeds and seedlings t N 283.9 286.3 283 278.1 297.5 294.3 296.7 292.1 276.1
Total input N t N 87595.3 85995.5 79989.5 80096 81340.7 82347.7 76231.8 79259.3 77749.3
Livestock manure % 48.5 46.1 47.3 48 47.6 49 50.7 48.8 48.6
mineral fertilisers % 38.1 40.1 37.8 36.4 37.4 36 32.8 35.6 35.4
biological fixation % 8.7 8.9 9.2 9.5 9 9.1 9.7 8.9 9.3
deposition % 4.4 4.5 5.3 5.7 5.7 5.6 6.3 6.4 6.4
seeds and seedlings % 0.3 0.3 0.4 0.3 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4
Total input N % 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Figure KM22-2: The structure of output of nitrogen from agricultural land in Slovenia
Sources: 

Agricultural Institute of Slovenia, 2011

Show data
1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001
permanent grassland t N 16062.4 14715.4 30266.6 27084.3 25585.4 28548.1 28029.6 28157.6 23775.2 23583.4
arable crops t N 11927.6 13845.2 18661.5 19041.2 18895.8 20053.5 20578.2 18536.5 16092.8 15854.8
Permanent crops and vegetables t N 782.8 835.8 881.9 826.5 921.8 858 907.7 836.2 976.3 735.5
total nutrient removed t N 28772.8 29396.4 49809.9 46952 45402.9 49459.7 49515.5 47530.4 40844.3 40173.8
permanent grassland % 55.8 50.1 60.8 57.7 56.4 57.7 56.6 59.2 58.2 58.7
arable crops % 41.5 47.1 37.5 40.6 41.6 40.5 41.6 39 39.4 39.5
Permanent crops and vegetables % 2.7 2.8 1.8 1.8 2 1.7 1.8 1.8 2.4 1.8
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
permanent grassland t N 29966.1 18758.3 29818.6 32881.7 25572.1 29280.4 30183.6 29533.8 31465.3
arable crops t N 19505.3 13897.9 20152.1 21096.1 18124.4 18963.3 20252 19952.4 20593.6
Permanent crops and vegetables t N 953.3 771.6 1048.7 936.6 891.7 880.7 847.1 881.5 830.5
total nutrient removed t N 50424.6 33427.9 51019.4 54914.4 44588.2 49124.4 51282.7 50367.7 52889.4
permanent grassland % 59.4 56.1 58.4 59.9 57.4 59.6 58.9 58.6 59.5
arable crops % 38.7 41.6 39.5 38.4 40.6 38.6 39.5 39.6 38.9
Permanent crops and vegetables % 1.9 2.3 2.1 1.7 2 1.8 1.7 1.8 1.6
Figure KM22-3: The nitrogen balance in Slovenia
Sources: 

Agricultural Institute of Slovenia, 2011.

Show data
1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001
Livestock manure t N 40195.2 37637 37502.4 38405.4 37645.8 37286 37900.4 38655.1 41090.7 40318.3
mineral fertilisers t N 38938 33376 33944 32235 31296 33999 34801 34380 34159 34765
deposition t N 8338.1 8291.4 8063.8 7874.5 7702.1 7414.1 7363.8 7478.9 7634.4 7644.4
biological fixation t N 4332.7 4288.4 4053.7 4303.1 3998.8 3898.7 3777.4 3727 3507.1 3761.4
seeds and seedlings t N 325.7 326.5 308.7 312.2 297.8 282.3 286.6 279.7 298.1 301.1
Total input N t N 92129.7 83919.3 83872.6 83130.2 80940.4 82880 84129.2 84520.6 86689.2 86790.1
utilised agricultural area ha 555871 552760 537586 524965 513473 494271 490918 498591 508960 509624
Input N kg N/ha 165.7 151.8 156 158.4 157.6 167.7 171.4 169.5 170.3 170.3
permanent grassland t N 16062.4 14715.4 30266.6 27084.3 25585.4 28548.1 28029.6 28157.6 23775.2 23583.4
arable crops t N 11927.6 13845.2 18661.5 19041.2 18895.8 20053.5 20578.2 18536.5 16092.8 15854.8
Permanent crops and vegetables t N 782.8 835.8 881.9 826.5 921.8 858 907.7 836.2 976.3 735.5
Total output N t N 28772.8 29396.4 49809.9 46952 45402.9 49459.7 49515.5 47530.4 40844.3 40173.8
utilised agricultural area ha 555871 552760 537586 524965 513473 494271 490918 498591 508960 509624
Output N kg N/ha 51.8 53.2 92.7 89.4 88.4 100.1 100.9 95.3 80.3 78.8
Nitrogen balance [kg N/ha] kg N/ha 114 98.6 63.4 68.9 69.2 67.6 70.5 74.2 90.1 91.5
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Livestock manure t N 42504.7 39672 37857.4 38437.5 38695.8 40323.1 38673.4 38667 37766.6
mineral fertilisers t N 33412 34501 30264 29169 30383 29613 25039 28202 27486
deposition t N 7581.9 7645.6 7357.8 7631.4 7354.8 7477 7386.4 7027.4 7242
biological fixation t N 3812.8 3890.5 4227.3 4580.1 4609.6 4640.4 4836.3 5070.7 4978.5
seeds and seedlings t N 283.9 286.3 283 278.1 297.5 294.3 296.7 292.1 276.1
Total input N t N 87595.3 85995.5 79989.5 80096 81340.7 82347.7 76231.8 79259.3 77749.3
utilised agricultural area ha 505462 509709 490520 508759 490318 498466 492424 468496 482803
Input N kg N/ha 173.3 168.7 163.1 157.4 165.9 165.2 154.8 169.2 161
permanent grassland t N 29966.1 18758.3 29818.6 32881.7 25572.1 29280.4 30183.6 29533.8 31465.3
arable crops t N 19505.3 13897.9 20152.1 21096.1 18124.4 18963.3 20252 19952.4 20593.6
Permanent crops and vegetables t N 953.3 771.6 1048.7 936.6 891.7 880.7 847.1 881.5 830.5
Total output N t N 50424.6 33427.9 51019.4 54914.4 44588.2 49124.4 51282.7 50367.7 52889.4
utilised agricultural area ha 505462 509709 490520 508759 490318 498466 492424 468496 482803
Output N kg N/ha 99.8 65.6 104 107.9 90.9 98.6 104.1 107.5 109.5
Nitrogen balance [kg N/ha] kg N/ha 73.5 103.1 59.1 49.5 75 66.7 50.7 61.7 51.5
Figure KM22-4: The nitrogen balance in the old Member States of the European Union (EU-15) and in Slovenia in 2000
Sources: 

Agricultural Institute of Slovenia, 2010; OECD, 2010.

Show data
France Italy Sweden Spain Portugal Austria Ireland United Kingdom Finland EU-15
2000 kg N/ha 25 37 38 39 42 43 44 45 51 55
Greece Denmark Slovenia Germany Luxembourg Belgium Netherlands
2000 kg N/ha 69 77 90.1 105 117 174.3 226
Figure KM22-5: Bilanca dušika po vodnih telesih podzemnih voda v letu 2009
Sources: 

Kmetijski inštitut Slovenije, 2011

Show data
4017 Vzhodne Slovenske gorice 3012 Dravska kotlina 1001 Savska kotlina in Ljubljansko Barje 1002 Savinjska kotlina 4016 Murska kotlina 3015 Zahodne Slovenske gorice 4018 Goričko 3014 Haloze in Dravinjske gorice 1009 Spodnji del Savinje do Sotle 3013 Vzhodne Alpe
Input N t N 3352 5220 7997 1376 6382 6372 3179 3407 6865 4443
Input N kg N/ha 242 247 248 225 188 186 167 180 181 177
Output N t N 1272 2051 3966 661 2827 3400 1712 2100 4383 2900
Output N kg N/ha 92 97 123 108 83 99 90 111 116 115
N balance t N 2080 3168 4031 715 3555 2972 1467 1306 2482 1543
N balance kg N/ha 150 150 125 117 105 87 77 69 66 61
1003 Krška kotlina 1008 Posavsko hribovje do osrednje Sotle 1006 Kamniško-Savinjske Alpe 1011 Dolenjski kras 1007 Cerkljansko, Škofjeloško in Polhograjsko hribovje 6021 Goriška 1004 Julijske Alpe v porečju Save 6020 Julijske Alpe v porečju Soče 5019 Obala in Kras z Brkini 1010 Kraška Ljubljanica
Input N t N 769 7138 2481 9327 2693 2404 639 728 1963 2184
Input N kg N/ha 150 156 154 151 150 107 114 111 97 103
Output N t N 485 5118 1849 7064 2098 2167 645 751 2061 2472
Output N kg N/ha 95 112 115 114 117 97 115 115 102 116
N balance t N 284 2020 633 2263 595 237 -6 -22 -99 -287
N balance kg N/ha 55 44 39 37 33 11 -1 -3 -5 -13
1005 Karavanke
Input N t N 292
Input N kg N/ha 87
Output N t N 384
Output N kg N/ha 115
N balance t N -92
N balance kg N/ha -27

Goals

- balanced consumption of nitrogen from mineral fertilizers and livestock manures, gradual increase in the scope of ecological production, and prevention of soil loading from point sources and non-point sources.
- fertilise plants in a way to make the best use of nutrients without being wasted into the groundwater and the atmosphere
- reduction and prevention of further pollution of waters by nitrates from agricultural production.


The balance of nitrogen (N) in agriculture is the difference between the input and the output of nitrogen from agricultural land. Surplus of nitrogen input over output present an environmental threat, because they accumulate on the ground, leach to waters, or end up in the air in gaseous state.

In the period 1992-2008, overall input of nitrogen on agricultural land reduced from 84,266 tons of N to 69,822 tons of N or by 17.1 %. Additionally, the input of nitrogen per hectare of utilised agricultural area has reduced, namely from 152 kg N/ha to 142 kg N/ha or for 6.5 %. The main source of nitrogen input on agricultural land is the nitrogen from mineral fertilizers and livestock manures, which on average contributed 84 % to overall input of nitrogen in the mentioned period (or 42 % for mineral fertilizers as well as for livestock manures). Contributions from other sources of input of nitrogen on agricultural land are lower: atmospheric deposition of nitrogen contributes 10 % to overall input of nitrogen, biological fixation by nitrogen with legume crops 5 %, and input of nitrogen through seeds and planting material 0.4 %.

The main reason for reduced input of nitrogen in the period 1992-2008 is primarily the 35.7 % reduction of nitrogen input from mineral fertilizers. The input of nitrogen from livestock manures has mainly remained unchanged. Due to the reduction utilised agricultural area, also the input of atmospheric nitrogen has reduced (for 11.4 %) and the input of nitrogen through seeds and planting material (for 8.7 %). In the period 1992-2008, due to greater crops and areas of legume crops, only the input of nitrogen by biological fixation increased, namely for 11.6 %.

Output of nitrogen with crops varied considerably in the period 1992-2008, since it amounted between 32,000 and 62,000 tons of N. Output of nitrogen per hectare of utilised agricultural area in the mentioned period amounted between 58 and 122 kg N/ha a year. Such great differences are conditional upon different weather conditions, since mainly in the periods of draught due to lower crop yields, the output of nitrogen also decreases. The main source of nitrogen output in the period 1992-2008 was permanent grassland (around 63 %), arable crops and sown grassland contributed around 35 %, while the contribution of permanent plantations (orchards, vineyards, and olive plantations), and vegetable crops was relatively small (around 2 %).

The balance of nitrogen, thus the difference between the input and the output of nitrogen, indicates a balance surplus of nitrogen. In the period 1992-2008, it amounted between 23 and 94 kg N/ha. We observed the greatest balance surplus (more than 80 kg N/ha) in the years 1992, 1993 and 2003. Until 2000, with the exception of years 1992 and 1993, the balance surplus was 38-66 kg N/ha, and after 2004, it is mainly decreasing, so that in 2008, it was only 24 kg N/ha.

In 2000, Slovenia had a slightly higher balance surplus (66 kg N/ha) than EU-15 average (55 kg N/ha). Among the countries with distinctly higher balance surplus are the Netherlands (226 kg N/ha), Belgium (174 kg N/ha), Luxembourg (117 kg N/ha), and Germany (105 kg N/ha). The lowest balance surplus in 2000, was in France (25 kg N/ha), Italy (37 kg N/ha), and Sweden (38 kg N/ha).


Data for Slovenia:

Objectives summarized by: Resolution on National Environmental Action Plan 2005-2012 (ReNEAP, OG RS, No. 2/06), Rules concerning good agricultural practice in manuring (OGRS, No. 130/04) and Decree concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources (OG RS, No. 113/09).
Source database or source: Agricultural institute of Slovenia (January 2010)
Data administrator: Agricultural institute of Slovenia
Data acquisition date for this indicator: November 2009
Methodology and frequency of data collection for the indicator: Data on the balance of nitrogen are calculated on the basis of the data of the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia on the consumption of mineral fertilizers, on the area of utilised agricultural area, on crops and areas of each species of agricultural plants, on the number of domestic animals and dairy farming (STAT-SI) and on the basis of expert evaluations and literature values for nitrogen content in crops, quantity of nitrogen in livestock manures for each species of domestic animals etc. Detailed information on the methodology is available at the authors of the calculation at the Agricultural Institute of Slovenia. The balance of nitrogen for Slovenia is calculated on an annual basis for the period 1992-2008.
Data processing methodology: Data on the input and the output of nitrogen are indicated in tons of nitrogen (t N) and in kilograms of nitrogen per hectare of utilised agricultural area (kg N/ha) a year. The data on the balance of nitrogen is calculated as the difference between the input and the output of nitrogen and is expressed in kg N/ha.
Information concerning data quality:
- Indicator advantages and disadvantages: The data on the balance of nitrogen is calculated on the basis of official records and expert evaluations. Data on the balance of nitrogen are weighed with certain uncertainty, originating in the uncertainty of official evaluations and unreliability of expert evaluations. In the case of expert evaluations, we relied on findings of some researches and expert works, or on the evaluations for comparable OECD members. The OECD does not prescribe unified coefficients for the calculation of the balance of N, therefore it is being left to the countries to rely on their own expert evaluations. Due to the aforementioned, the data on the balance of nitrogen in Slovenia are to a certain extent unreliable however, we estimate that they reflect the actual state relatively well.
- Relevance, accuracy, robustness, uncertainty:
Reliability of the indicator (archival data): Since the data on the balance of nitrogen are calculated for a longer period (1992-2008), we do not exclude the possibility that the comparability of the data between years can be questionable to a certain extent, because in the mentioned period the data acquisition methodologies for official records were changing. We are observing this mainly in data on crops and areas of each species of agricultural plants.
Uncertainty of the indicator (scenarios/projections): Scenarios and projections are not available.
- Overall assessment (1 = no major comments, 3 = data to be considered with reservation):
Relevance: 2
Accuracy: 2
Completeness over time: 2
Completeness over space: 3

Data for other countries:

Source database or source: Data on the balance of nitrogen for old Member States of the European Union (EU-15) for 2000 are summarized from the website OECD and are available in the framework of the indicator IRENA 18.1 – Gross nitrogen balance (IRENA Indicator Fact Sheet) on the European Environmental Agency website.
Data administrator: OECD.
Data acquisition date for this indicator: November 2009
Methodology and frequency of data collection for the indicator: Data on the balance of nitrogen for old Member States of the EU (EU-15) for 1990 and 2000 are stated on the OECD website. For the indicator we used the data for 2000.
Data processing methodology: The data on the balance of nitrogen for each country of the EU-15 are indicated in kilograms of nitrogen per hectare of utilised agricultural area (kg N/ha).
Geographical coverage: EU-15 consists of old Member States of the EU: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Germany, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
Information concerning data quality:
- Indicator advantages and disadvantages: Since new data for EU Member States are not available, we cannot speak about the Indicator advantages and disadvantages.
- Relevance, accuracy, robustness, uncertainty:
Reliability of the indicator (archival data): /
Uncertainty of the indicator (scenarios/projections): /
- Overall assessment (1 = no major comments, 3 = data to be considered with reservation):
Relevance: 3
Accuracy: 3
Completeness over time: 3
Completeness over space: 3


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