Chapter 5 - NFR 3 - Agriculture

Last updated on 16 Oct 2015 06:19 (cf. Authors)

NFR-Code Name of Category
3 Agriculture
consisting of / including source categories
3.B Manure Management
3.D Agricultural Soils

Country specifics

There are no emissions from the categories 3.F Field burning of agricultural residues and 3.I Agriculture Other.

Short description

Emissions occurring in the agricultural sector in Germany derive from manure management (NFR 3.B) and agricultural soils (NFR 3.D).
The pollutants reported are:

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

Germany does not report NH3 and NOx emissions from biological N fixation (legumes) and crop residues as neither IPCC (2006) nor EMEP (2013) provide respective methodologies. Reporting of NMVOC emissions from agriculture has been resumed for the submission at hand based on the new methodology provided by EMEP (2013). In 2013 the agricultural sector emitted 633.3 Gg of NH3 , 108.8 Gg of NOX, 208.8 Gg of NMVOC, 64.4 Gg of TSP, 50.0 Gg of PM10 and 8.2 Gg of PM2.5. The trend from 1990 onwards is shown in the graph below. The sharp decrease of NH3 emissions 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 1991 a slightly decreasing trend can bee seen. The 22-year difference between 1991 and 2013 is 35 Gg lower than the difference from 1990 to 1991.Further details concerning trends can be found in Rösemann et al. (2015) [1], Chapter 2.

As displayed in the diagram below, in 2013 94.4 % of Germany’s total NH3 emissions derived from the agricultural sector, while nitrous oxides reported as NOX contributed 8.6 % and NMVOC 18.3 % to the total NOX and NMVOC emissions of Germany. Regarding the emissions of TSP, PM10 and PM2.5 the agricultural sector contributed 18.5, 21.9 % and 7.3 %, respectively, to the national emissions of PM.

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., 2015 [1]).
Differences of the agricultural NH3 emissions between the submission 2015 and the previous submission (Submission 2014) are due to issues listed below.

  • Mineral fertilizers: The new NH3 emission factors provided by EMEP (2013)[10] nearly doubled the fertilizer-induced NH3 emissions.
  • Dairy cows: Updated performance data (animal weight, increased calf birth weight, milk yield) as well as modified population shares in grassland-based and agricultural farms resulted in increased N excretions (except for the years 1991 – 1995).
  • Other cattle: For calves, heifers and male beef cattle, energy requirements are modified by moving the animal weight threshold between calves and heifers/male beef cattle from 100 kg to 125 kg. In addition, performance data of heifers have been updated (animal weight, increased calf birth weight). In all, N excretions of other cattle are lower than in Submission 2014.
  • Weaners and fattening pigs: Correction of the undue use of empty times between production cycles led to increased N excretions.
  • Sows: The duration of the period between weaning and covering has been updated. The corresponding trade-off between feeding phases with different feed properties resulted in lower N intake and therefore lower N excretions.
  • Pigs, air scrubbing: The amounts of NH3-N filtered by air scrubbing that were neglected in former submissions are now added to the TAN pool of the manure to be spreaded. This modification increased the NH3 emissions during spreading.
  • Poultry: A new broiler model had to be developed in order to cope with the increasingly limited availability of input data. The underestimation of the population size in 2011 and 2012 has been corrected. In addition for poultry the correction of the undue use of empty times between production cycles led to increased annual N excretions. In all, mean poultry N excretions per place and year increased in comparison to Submission 2014 except for 2011 to 2013 where the new broiler model leads to lower N excretions per place and year.
  • Digestion of manure: The methodology used in Submission 2014 for the calculation of emissions from the digestion of slurry has been improved to consider also the digestion of solid manure and poultry manure. In addition, the modified method takes into account the mineralization of organic N in the fermenter, thus considerably increasing the potential of NH3 emissions during field application of the digestates. This effect more than compensates the emission reducing effect of increasingly used gastight storage of digestates.

NO emissions from manure management increased for the entire time series when compared to the previous submission. This is due to the changes in data and modelling as described above for NH3.
NO-emissions from agricultural soils are generally higher than the data presented in the previous submission. This is mostly due to higher amounts of N in spreaded manure. This in turn is a consequence of higher N excretions caused by some of the changes in animal models and input data described above as well as the fact that NH3-N removed by air scrubbing is now completely added to the pools of total N and TAN before landspreading. These N amounts had been neglected in the previous submission.
Reporting of NMVOC emissions has been resumed based on the new methodology described on EMEP (2013)[10].
Changes in PM emissions are due to new emission factors for PM2.5 and PM10 provided in EMEP (2013) [10]. Emission factors for sheep and goats were available for the first time. While in earlier submissions TSP emissions from animals were set equal to PM10 emissions (due to the lack of TSP emission factors), TSP from animals has now been calculated with the new TSP Emission factors given in EMEP (2013) [10]. However, for TSP from cultivation of agricultural soils there are still no TSP emission factors; hence TSP from cultivation of agricultural soils is kept being approximated by PM10.

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. (2015)[1]).
Changes of data and methodologies are documented in detail (see Rösemann et. al. (2015)[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.

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 C, Haenel H-D, Dämmgen U, Freibauer A, Wulf S, Eurich-Menden B, Döhler H, Schreiner C, Bauer B, Osterburg B (2015)
Calculations of gaseous and particulate emissions from German agriculture 1990 – 2013 : Report on methods and data (RMD) Submission 2015. Braunschweig: Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut, 372 p, Thünen Rep 27.
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.
3. Dämmgen U., Hutchings N.J. (2008): Emissions of gaseous nitrogen species from manure management - a new approach. Environmental Pollution 154, 488-497.
5. Dämmgen U., Erisman J.W. (2005): Emission, transmission, deposition and environmental effects of ammonia from agricultural sources. In: Kuczyński T., Dämmgen U., Webb J., Myczko (eds) Emissions from European Agriculture. Wageningen Academic Publishers, Wageningen. pp 97-112.
6. Weingarten, P. (1995): Das „Regionalisierte Agrar- und Umweltinformationssystem für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland“ (RAUMIS). Berichte über die Landwirtschaft Band 73, 272-302.
7. Henrichsmeyer, W.; Cypris, Ch.; Löhe, W.; Meuth, M.; Isermeyer F; Heinrich, I.; Schefski, A.; Neander, E.; Fasterding, F.;, Neumann, M.; Nieberg, H.( 1996): Entwicklung des gesamtdeutschen Agrarsektormodells RAUMIS96. Endbericht zum Kooperationsprojekt. Forschungsbericht für das BMELF (94 HS 021), Bonn, Braunschweig.
8. IPCC – Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (1996): 1996 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, Reference Manual (Volume 3).
11. NIR (2015): National Inventory Report 2015 for the German Greenhouse Gas Inventory 1990-2013. Available in April 2015.
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