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In the period 1992–2017 gross and net nitrogen budget in Slovenian agriculture decreased. Trend analysis for this period shows that gross nitrogen budget decreased by 44 % and net budget by 72 %. Both decreases indicate better management of nitrogen and, consequently, reduced emissions of nitrogen compounds into the environment. On average, 52% of nitrogen input was taken up by crops in the period 1992–2003. This proportion increased to 66% in the period 2004–2017 and even exceeded 70 % in individual years. Weather conditions markedly influence the nitrogen budget in a specific year; in dry years because of lower yields, nitrogen budget tends to be above average. In the period 2006-2015, Slovenia showed a slightly higher average gross nitrogen budget (54 kg N/ha) than the EU Member States (50 kg N/ha).


According to the OECD-Eurostat methodology (2013), the nitrogen (N) budget in agriculture represents the difference between the input of N on agricultural land and the output of N from agricultural land with crop yields. We distinguish between gross and net nitrogen budget. Gross nitrogen budget is the difference between total input and output of nitrogen. Gross nitrogen budget is represented by the following sources: N excreted by farm animals, N in mineral fertilizers, biological fixation of N by legumes, deposition of atmospheric N, N from other organic fertilizers (compost, sewage sludge ...) and N from seeds and planting material. Output represent nitrogen uptake of harvested crops. The net nitrogen budget refers mainly to the available N for crop growth (net input). Net nitrogen budget is calculated by subtracting N that is released into the atmosphere (from animal sheds, manure storage tanks, during grazing, during and as a result of fertilising with mineral, animal and other organic fertilisers, during the decomposition of crop residues in soil and as a result of cultivation of histosols) from the gross nitrogen budget. This is N that is released into the atmosphere through emissions of ammonia (NH3) nitrous oxide (N2O) and nitrogen oxides (NOx). The gross and net nitrogen budget were expressed in tonnes N at the national level and in kilograms N per hectare of utilized agricultural area. Data for the period 1992–2017 are presented. The indicator also presents the structure of input and output of N and comparison with EU countries (EU-28).


Charts

Figure KM22-1: Structure of nitrogen input on agricultural land in Slovenia in the period 1992-2017
Sources: 

Agricultural Institute of Slovenia, 2019

Show data

Total N input [t N]

Livestock manure [t N]

Mineral fertilisers [t N]

Atmospheric deposition []

Biological fixation []

Seeds and seedlings [t N]

Other organic fertilisers [t N]

Livestock manure [%]

Mineral fertilisers [%]

Atmospheric deposition [%]

Biological fixation [%]

Seeds and seedlings [%]

Other organic fertilisers [%]

1992

89850

40376

38938

8338

1781

339

78

44.94

43.34

9.28

1.98

0.38

0.09

1993

81663

37815

33376

8291

1764

339

78

46.31

40.87

10.15

2.16

0.42

0.10

1994

81715

37654

33944

8064

1653

322

78

46.08

41.54

9.87

2.02

0.39

0.10

1995

80852

38560

32235

7874

1778

326

78

47.69

39.87

9.74

2.20

0.40

0.10

1996

78783

37766

31296

7702

1637

311

70

47.94

39.72

9.78

2.08

0.39

0.09

1997

80801

37392

33999

7414

1638

295

62

46.28

42.08

9.18

2.03

0.37

0.08

1998

82012

37948

34801

7364

1547

299

55

46.27

42.43

8.98

1.89

0.36

0.07

1999

82261

38645

34380

7479

1433

292

33

46.98

41.79

9.09

1.74

0.35

0.04

2000

84551

41028

34159

7634

1409

309

12

48.52

40.40

9.03

1.67

0.37

0.01

2001

84233

40252

34765

7644

1242

311

20

47.79

41.27

9.07

1.47

0.37

0.02

2002

84989

42375

33412

7582

1283

294

43

49.86

39.31

8.92

1.51

0.35

0.05

2003

83346

39545

34501

7646

1339

297

18

47.45

41.39

9.17

1.61

0.36

0.02

2004

76981

37678

30264

7358

1382

294

5

48.94

39.31

9.56

1.80

0.38

0.01

2005

77135

38340

29169

7631

1701

291

3

49.71

37.82

9.89

2.21

0.38

0.00

2006

78398

38598

30383

7355

1755

307

1

49.23

38.75

9.38

2.24

0.39

0.00

2007

79225

40096

29613

7477

1734

305

1

50.61

37.38

9.44

2.19

0.38

0.00

2008

73080

38429

25039

7386

1919

306

0

52.58

34.26

10.11

2.63

0.42

0

2009

76057

38401

28202

7027

2123

302

0

50.49

37.08

9.24

2.79

0.40

0

2010

74757

37643

27486

7240

2085

286

18

50.35

36.77

9.68

2.79

0.38

0.02

2011

72668

36335

27134

6873

2056

270

0

50.00

37.34

9.46

2.83

0.37

0

2012

71686

35852

26300

7195

2053

287

0

50.01

36.69

10.04

2.86

0.40

0

2013

72248

35382

27263

7183

2142

277

0

48.97

37.74

9.94

2.96

0.38

0

2014

74473

36204

28612

7233

2128

289

7

48.61

38.42

9.71

2.86

0.39

0.01

2015

75619

37009

28319

7153

2846

291

1

48.94

37.45

9.46

3.76

0.38

0.00

2016

75683

37704

27097

7165

3398

300

18

49.82

35.80

9.47

4.49

0.40

0.02

2017

75197

37218

27084

7221

3379

295

0

49.49

36.02

9.60

4.49

0.39

0

Figure KM22-2: Structure of nitrogen output on agricultural land in Slovenia in the period 1992-2017
Sources: 

Agricultural Institute of Slovenia, 2019

Show data

Total N output [t N]

Temporary and permanent pasture nett production [t N]

Cereals [t N]

Plants harvested green/Fodder from arable land [t N]

Root crops [t N]

Fruits [t N]

Industrial crops [t N]

Vegetables [t N]

Dried Pulses [t N]

Temporary and permanent pasture nett production [%]

Cereals [%]

Plants harvested green/Fodder from arable land [%]

Root crops [%]

Fruits [%]

Industrial crops [%]

Vegetables [%]

Dried Pulses [%]

1992

28752

17811

6028

2760

1060

535

293

243

22

61.95

20.97

9.60

3.69

1.86

1.02

0.85

0.08

1993

29376

16712

6762

3566

1204

559

278

270

25

56.89

23.02

12.14

4.10

1.90

0.95

0.92

0.09

1994

49789

32460

8417

5815

1755

621

405

254

62

65.20

16.91

11.68

3.52

1.25

0.81

0.51

0.12

1995

46921

29761

8170

6051

1835

547

213

274

70

63.43

17.41

12.90

3.91

1.17

0.45

0.58

0.15

1996

45376

28330

7762

6223

1841

632

251

284

52

62.43

17.11

13.71

4.06

1.39

0.55

0.63

0.11

1997

49428

31402

8579

6673

1683

575

194

275

47

63.53

17.36

13.50

3.40

1.16

0.39

0.56

0.10

1998

49492

30783

8919

6709

1922

641

213

261

42

62.20

18.02

13.56

3.88

1.30

0.43

0.53

0.08

1999

47511

30940

7557

5960

2007

543

185

288

29

65.12

15.91

12.54

4.22

1.14

0.39

0.61

0.06

2000

40831

25412

7968

4674

1641

716

137

259

26

62.24

19.51

11.45

4.02

1.75

0.34

0.63

0.06

2001

40152

26073

8103

3929

1101

521

186

211

27

64.94

20.18

9.79

2.74

1.30

0.46

0.53

0.07

2002

50404

32958

9754

5019

1286

715

391

234

48

65.39

19.35

9.96

2.55

1.42

0.78

0.46

0.10

2003

33416

20670

6432

4190

974

572

353

196

30

61.86

19.25

12.54

2.91

1.71

1.06

0.59

0.09

2004

50952

33252

9267

5723

1223

778

370

265

74

65.26

18.19

11.23

2.40

1.53

0.73

0.52

0.15

2005

54875

35890

9154

7039

1256

649

404

282

202

65.40

16.68

12.83

2.29

1.18

0.74

0.51

0.37

2006

44546

28877

7934

5005

1060

628

423

258

362

64.83

17.81

11.24

2.38

1.41

0.95

0.58

0.81

2007

49107

32889

8502

5440

492

662

698

213

210

66.97

17.31

11.08

1.00

1.35

1.42

0.43

0.43

2008

51121

34195

9336

5703

380

583

517

258

149

66.89

18.26

11.16

0.74

1.14

1.01

0.50

0.29

2009

50253

33822

8542

6007

401

598

528

277

77

67.30

17.00

11.95

0.80

1.19

1.05

0.55

0.15

2010

52785

35652

9161

5930

367

628

776

197

74

67.54

17.36

11.23

0.70

1.19

1.47

0.37

0.14

2011

49664

31719

9727

6096

345

640

750

250

137

63.87

19.59

12.27

0.69

1.29

1.51

0.50

0.28

2012

44216

27622

9441

5379

290

460

743

219

61

62.47

21.35

12.17

0.66

1.04

1.68

0.50

0.14

2013

39156

25371

7449

4634

235

562

643

225

37

64.79

19.02

11.83

0.60

1.44

1.64

0.57

0.09

2014

53898

34293

10457

7038

340

538

892

279

62

63.63

19.40

13.06

0.63

1.00

1.65

0.52

0.12

2015

54145

34537

10040

7578

320

656

639

305

71

63.79

18.54

14.00

0.59

1.21

1.18

0.56

0.13

2016

55437

34942

10276

8026

300

462

992

330

109

63.03

18.54

14.48

0.54

0.83

1.79

0.60

0.20

2017

43897

26502

8872

6573

278

345

931

296

100

60.37

20.21

14.97

0.63

0.79

2.12

0.67

0.23

Figure KM22-3: Nitrogen budget in Slovenian agriculture in the period 1992-2017
Sources: 

Agricultural Institute of Slovenia, 2019

Show data

Gross budget [t N]

Emissions [t N]

Net budget [t N]

UAA [1000 ha]

Gross budget [kg N/ha]

Emissions [kg N/ha]

Net budget [kg N/ha]

1992

61098

18821

42277

556

109.89

33.85

76.04

1993

52287

17338

34949

553

94.55

31.35

63.20

1994

31925

17258

14667

538

59.34

32.08

27.26

1995

33930

17332

16598

525

64.63

33.01

31.62

1996

33407

16790

16617

513

65.12

32.73

32.39

1997

31373

16978

14395

494

63.51

34.37

29.14

1998

32521

17147

15373

491

66.23

34.92

31.31

1999

34750

17053

17697

499

69.64

34.17

35.46

2000

43720

17788

25931

509

85.89

34.95

50.95

2001

44081

17616

26465

510

86.43

34.54

51.89

2002

34584

18475

16109

505

68.48

36.58

31.90

2003

49930

17409

32520

510

97.90

34.14

63.77

2004

26029

16211

9818

491

53.01

33.02

20.00

2005

22259

16479

5781

509

43.73

32.38

11.36

2006

33853

16572

17280

490

69.09

33.82

35.27

2007

30119

17100

13019

498

60.48

34.34

26.14

2008

21959

15962

5997

492

44.63

32.44

12.19

2009

25804

16532

9272

468

55.14

35.32

19.81

2010

21972

16012

5959

483

45.49

33.15

12.34

2011

23004

15383

7621

458

50.23

33.59

16.64

2012

27470

15261

12209

480

57.23

31.79

25.44

2013

33092

15079

18013

479

69.09

31.48

37.61

2014

20576

15402

5174

482

42.69

31.95

10.73

2015

21474

15516

5957

477

45.02

32.53

12.49

2016

20245

15746

4499

478

42.35

32.94

9.41

2017

31299

15472

15828

481

65.07

32.17

32.90

Figure KM22-4: Utilization efficiency of added nitrogen on agricultural land (% of input) in the period 1992-2017
Sources: 

Agricultural Institute of Slovenia, 2019

Show data

Input [kg N/ha]

Output [kg N/ha]

Efficiency of N [%]

1992

162

52

32.10

1993

148

53

35.81

1994

152

93

61.18

1995

154

89

57.79

1996

153

88

57.52

1997

163

100

61.35

1998

167

101

60.48

1999

165

95

57.58

2000

166

80

48.19

2001

165

79

47.88

2002

168

100

59.52

2003

164

66

40.24

2004

157

104

66.24

2005

152

108

71.05

2006

160

91

56.88

2007

159

99

62.26

2008

148

104

70.27

2009

162

107

66.05

2010

155

109

70.32

2011

159

108

67.92

2012

149

92

61.74

2013

151

82

54.30

2014

154

112

72.73

2015

159

114

71.70

2016

158

116

73.42

2017

156

91

58.33

Figure KM22-5: Gross nitrogen budget in the Member States of the European Union (EU-28) in the period 2006-2015
Gross nitrogen budget EU
Sources: 

EUROSTAT, 2019

Show data

2006-2015 [kg N/ha]

2015 [kg N/ha]

2014 [kg N/ha]

2013 [kg N/ha]

2012 [kg N/ha]

2011 [kg N/ha]

2010 [kg N/ha]

2009 [kg N/ha]

2008 [kg N/ha]

2007 [kg N/ha]

2006 [kg N/ha]

Cyprus

183.20

194

194

179

184

199

191

178

201

159

153

Netherlands

179

189

160

169

169

172

173

172

175

198

213

Malta

177.40

147

147

147

141

132

169

200

215

244

232

Belgium

138

132

132

138

143

143

142

129

124

145

152

Luxembourg

126.90

129

129

127

125

138

127

120

122

123

129

Denmark

90.80

80

80

87

83

88

90

87

106

105

102

United Kingdom

85.90

83

85

88

87

85

90

84

82

88

87

Croatia

81.80

60

48

44

86

93

81

62

115

121

108

Germany

79.10

82

66

79

75

89

78

65

84

79

94

Czech Republic

77.50

98

63

76

88

79

67

56

80

86

82

Italy

67.10

66

66

70

80

63

59

60

65

68

74

Greece

64.80

59

59

56

50

52

71

65

69

88

79

Slovenia

53.90

45

43

69

57

50

46

55

45

60

69

Poland

51.50

48

40

55

48

53

52

48

57

52

62

European Union

50.40

51

47

49

50

49

49

46

51

56

56

Finland

48.70

49

48

47

48

50

57

38

51

43

56

France

45.30

42

45

45

40

52

40

39

52

52

46

Sweden

39

32

31

35

32

42

42

30

51

45

50

Portugal

38.30

41

42

37

43

39

41

36

33

43

28

Slovakia

36.50

38

19

41

41

32

46

29

29

50

40

Ireland

37

42

40

44

29

23

34

29

27

47

55

Lithuania

34.10

25

25

31

29

40

44

35

34

28

50

Hungary

33.50

39

27

38

42

31

38

26

20

47

27

Spain

33.30

39

39

29

34

29

35

31

27

34

36

Austria

30.40

41

30

41

30

28

26

21

30

31

26

Estonia

27.30

22

22

23

28

32

31

25

36

22

32

Latvia

24.50

28

28

28

24

28

29

22

17

20

21

Bulgaria

21.80

28

28

16

24

12

14

20

16

36

24

Romania

9.30

9

-1

4

16

-11

-1

18

14

32

13


Goals

  • Balanced consumption of nitrogen from mineral fertilisers and livestock manures, gradual increase of the extent of organic farming and prevention of soil loading from point and dispersed sources.
  • To fertilise plants in a way that makes the best use of nutrients without those nutrients being emitted into groundwater and the atmosphere.
  • To reduce and prevent further pollution of waters by nitrates from agricultural production.

In the period 1992–2017, the total nitrogen input to agricultural land was reduced from 89,850 tonnes of N to 75,197 tonnes of N (16%). Input of nitrogen per hectare of utilised agricultural area was also reduced, from 162 kg N/ha to 156 kg N/ha (by 4%). The main sources of nitrogen are livestock manure and mineral fertilisers. Their contribution to nitrogen input in period 1992-2017 was 48% and 39%. Other sources are less important: atmospheric deposition contributes 10%, biological fixation by legumes 2%, seeds and seedlings material 0.4%. The main reason for the reduction of N input is the 30% reduction in the consumption of N from mineral fertilizers. The reduction of utilised agricultural area resulted in reduced input of atmospheric deposition (by 13%) and input of nitrogen through seeds and seedlings material. In the period 1992–2017, input of nitrogen through biological fixation increased by 90% due to an increase in the cultivation of legumes.

Nitrogen output varied considerably in the period 1992–2017, amounting to between 28,752 and 55,437 tonnes of N per year. The output of N per hectare of agricultural land was between 52 and 116 kg per year. Such great differences are a consequence of different weather conditions, as nitrogen output is notably lower in dry years when crops yields are lower. The main source of nitrogen output is permanent grassland (64%), followed by grain fields (19%) and green fodder from arable fields (12%). Other crops (root crops, tubers, fruit, vegetables, legumes and industrial plants) combined contribute 5% of nitrogen output.

In the period 1992-2017 the gross nitrogen budget was between 42 and 110 kg N/ha. The highest (more than 80 kg N/ha) were recorded in the dry years 1992, 1993, 2000, 2001 and 2003, when crop yields were reduced which resulted in lower nitrogen output. The trend analysis clearly revealed that gross nitrogen budget in the period 1995–2017 was decreasing (by 1.5 kg per year, 44% over the entire period). Net nitrogen budget was also decreasing (by 1.4 kg per year, 72% over the entire period). Lower nitrogen budgets indicate better nitrogen management and, consequently, lower emissions of nitrogen compounds into the environment. While 52% of input nitrogen was taken from agricultural land in the period 1992–2003, the percentage increased to 66% in the period 2004–2017, even exceeding 70% in certain years. In the last five-year period (2013–2017), average gross nitrogen budget was 52 kg N/ha, while net nitrogen budget was 21 kg N/ha.

In the period 2006-2015, Slovenia showed a slightly higher average gross nitrogen budget (54 kg N/ha) than EU Member States (50 kg N/ha). This is a consequence of the large percentage of grassland in the structure of agricultural land and the associated livestock production, characterized by extensive emissions of nitrogen compounds into the air.


Other sources and literature

EUROPEAN COMMISSION, Eurostat. 2013. Methodology and Handbook Eurostat/OECD. Nutrient Budgets EU 27, Norway, Switzerland


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