Gross nutrient balance (aei_pr_gnb)

Reference Metadata in Euro SDMX Metadata Structure (ESMS)

Compiling agency: Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union


Eurostat metadata
Reference metadata
1. Contact
2. Metadata update
3. Statistical presentation
4. Unit of measure
5. Reference Period
6. Institutional Mandate
7. Confidentiality
8. Release policy
9. Frequency of dissemination
10. Accessibility and clarity
11. Quality management
12. Relevance
13. Accuracy
14. Timeliness and punctuality
15. Coherence and comparability
16. Cost and Burden
17. Data revision
18. Statistical processing
19. Comment
Related Metadata
Annexes (including footnotes)



For any question on data and metadata, please contact: EUROPEAN STATISTICAL DATA SUPPORT

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1. Contact Top
1.1. Contact organisation

Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union

1.2. Contact organisation unit

E1: Agriculture and fisheries

1.5. Contact mail address

2920 Luxembourg, LUXEMBOURG


2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 14/03/2019
2.2. Metadata last posted 14/03/2019
2.3. Metadata last update 14/03/2019


3. Statistical presentation Top
3.1. Data description

The Gross Nutrient Balance provides an insight into the links between the use of agricultural nutrients, their losses to the environment, and the sustainable use of soil nutrients resources. It consists of the Gross Nitrogen Balance and the Gross Phosphorus Balance and is intended to be an indicator of the potential threat of surplus or deficit of two important soil and plant nutrients in agricultural land. It shows the link between agricultural activities and the environmental impact, identifying the factors determining the nutrients surplus or deficit and the trends over time.

Nitrogen (N) and Phosphorus (P) are key elements for plants to grow. A persistent deficit of these nutrients can in the long term lead to soil degradation and erosion. When N and P are however persistently applied in excess, they can cause surface and groundwater (including drinking water) pollution and eutrophication.

The Gross Nitrogen Balance also includes Nitrogenous Emissions from livestock production and the application of manure and fertilizers. These nitrogenous emissions include:
- Ammonia (NH3) contributing to acidification, eutrophication and atmospheric particulate pollution, and
- Nitrous oxide (N2O), a potent greenhouse gas contributing to global warming.

The gross nutrient balance is calculated as the balance between inputs and outputs of nutrients to the agricultural soil. A balance per hectare of utilised agricultural area is also presented.

The Inputs are:

-         Consumption of Fertilizers,

-         Gross Input of Manure, and

-         Other Inputs.

The Outputs are:

-         Removal of nutrients with the harvest of Crops,

-         Removal of nutrients through the harvest and grazing of Fodder, and

-         Crop Residues removed from the field.
  

The data presented in the table are calculated from basic data from various data sources multiplied with coefficients to derive the nutrient content. The basic data used include the consumption of inorganic and other organic fertilizers (excluding manure) (tonnes), livestock population (1000 heads), manure imports, withdrawals and stock changes (tonnes), crop and fodder production (tonnes), crop residues removed from the field (tonnes), use of seeds and planting materials planted in the soil (tonnes), area of leguminous crops (1000 ha), area of arable land, land under permanent crops and permanent grassland (1000 ha). Countries may have used different types of data sources for these data. For instance some countries use estimates of the livestock population based on data from the Livestock Surveys or they have used other data sources like national registers on livestock. Data sources that are used and are available in Eurostat include: Crop Production Statistics (production and landuse), Livestock Statistics (livestock numbers), Farm Structure Survey (livestock numbers).

Countries have estimated coefficients based on measurements, scientific research, expert judgment, default values etc.

Data published for the Spain and Austria are based on national methodologies that differ to some extent from the Eurostat/OECD Handbook on GNB.  Spain includes the extensive grazing areas in the UAA; therefore it deviates from the Handbook. Austria reports data in an older model method which does not include all items reported for other countries.

As regards the UK, rough grazing areas are excluded from the UAA, therefore it deviates from the Handbook.

3.2. Classification system

Nutrients are separated in nitrogen and phosphorous.

3.3. Coverage - sector

Agricultural sector

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

Reference Area
The area (agricultural soils) to which the balance refers is the Utilized Agricultural Area (UAA) as reported in the Crop Production Statistics (landuse). Extensive areas should be excluded.

Consumption of Fertilizers
Total consumption of Fertilizers is the SUM of the consumption of Inorganic Fertilizers and Other Organic Fertilizers (excluding Manure). Inorganic Fertilizers are manufactured fertilizers. Organic Fertilizers include Sewage Sludge, Urban Compost, Industrial Waste Products and Other products which are used as fertilizers on agricultural soils.

Manure Input
Manure Input is the SUM of Manure Production by livestock MINUS Manure Withdrawals PLUS Change in stocks PLUS Manure Imports.
Manure Withdrawals are withdrawals of manure from agriculture, for instance exports of manure to other regions, non-agricultural use, processing of manure by industry etc.
Change in Manure Stocks is defined as Stocks at beginning of the year MINUS Stocks at the end of the year.

Other Inputs are:
- Biological Fixation of Nitrogen by Leguminous Crops and Grass-legume mixtures. Leguminous plants are for instance Pulses, Clover, Lucerne, and Soybean. The leguminous fixation of clover or other leguminous mixtures in permanent and temporary grassland is also taken into account. The Nitrogen Fixation by Free Living Organisms has been excluded from the practical implementation of nutrient budgets due to uncertain quality of data and very limited availability of estimates on this flow.

- Atmospheric Deposition on agricultural soils. The total deposition of Nitrogen from all sources on arable land, land under permanent crops and permanent grassland MINUS the Nitrogen deposited on arable land, land under permanent crops and permanent grassland from Ammonia emissions by agriculture in the region.
- Seeds and Planting materials planted in the soil.

Removal of nutrients with the harvest of Crops:
Crops include Cereals, Dried Pulses, Root crops, Industrial Crops, Vegetables, Fruit, Ornamental plants and Other harvested crops.

Removal of nutrients through harvest and grazing of Fodder:
Fodder include Green Fodder (for instance silage maize) and Temporary and Permanent Grasslands (hay, grass silage, fresh grass harvested and fed to animals, grass grazed by ruminants).

Removal of nutrients from crop residues removed from the field.
Crop residues include straw, head leaves and stems and other crop residuals which are removed from the field.

3.5. Statistical unit

Countries report the balances at NUTS 0 level.

3.6. Statistical population

The data are collected in countries through various data sources and delivered to Eurostat at aggregated level (NUTS 0).

3.7. Reference area

EU Member States, Norway and Switzerland.

3.8. Coverage - Time

1985-2017

3.9. Base period

Not applicable.


4. Unit of measure Top

Variables are measured in tonnes of nutrients. Except for the balance per ha, the inputs per ha and the outputs per ha which are expressed in kg of nutrient per hectare.


5. Reference Period Top

Calendar year.


6. Institutional Mandate Top
6.1. Institutional Mandate - legal acts and other agreements

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on the development of agri-environmental indicators for monitoring the integration of environmental concerns into the common agricultural policy (COM(2006) 508 final)

ESS agreement of 16 November 2017 on gross nutrient budgets.

OECD:
Agreement between OECD and OECD Member States on the provision of data relating to nutrient balances.

6.2. Institutional Mandate - data sharing

Data of EU Member States, Norway and Switzerland are collected, validated and verified by Eurostat. Data are shared with OECD.


7. Confidentiality Top
7.1. Confidentiality - policy

Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 on European statistics (recital 24 and Article 20(4)) of 11 March 2009 (OJ L 87, p. 164), stipulates the need to establish common principles and guidelines ensuring the confidentiality of data used for the production of European statistics and the access to those confidential data with due account for technical developments and the requirements of users in a democratic society.

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment

No confidential data is involved.


8. Release policy Top
8.1. Release calendar

Not defined.

8.2. Release calendar access

Not applicable.

8.3. Release policy - user access

In line with the Community legal framework and the European Statistics Code of Practice Eurostat disseminates European statistics on Eurostat's website (see item 10 - 'Accessibility and clarity') respecting professional independence and in an objective, professional and transparent manner in which all users are treated equitably. The detailed arrangements are governed by the Eurostat protocol on impartial access to Eurostat data for users.

Data are disseminated simultaneously to all interested parties through Eurostat's database and website.


9. Frequency of dissemination Top

Data are disseminated when available.


10. Accessibility and clarity Top
10.1. Dissemination format - News release

Press releases are not foreseen.

10.2. Dissemination format - Publications

Online publication in Statistic Explained.

10.3. Dissemination format - online database

Please consult free data on-line.

10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access

No microdata collected.

10.5. Dissemination format - other

Data is used to construct a GNB indicator in the following sets:

EU Agri-environmental Indicators

EU Common Agricultural Policy Context indicators 2014-2020

European SDG indicators

Indicator of the 7th European Environment Action Programme

10.6. Documentation on methodology

Eurostat/OECD Nutrient Budgets Handbook

10.7. Quality management - documentation

No documents available other than the Eurostat/OECD Nutrient Budgets Handbook


11. Quality management Top
11.1. Quality assurance

Data quality and validation are discussed with countries in Eurostat Working Groups. Documentation access for non-members is restricted.

11.2. Quality management - assessment

The balance is estimated from several inputs and outputs. The inputs and outputs are estimated from basic data multiplied by coefficients to convert the data in nutrient contents. The most significant basic inputs and output data are fertiliser consumption, livestock numbers, crop production, agricultural area.

Data on fertiliser consumption is available in many countries from country specific data sources (surveys, trade/production statistics). For countries where such data was not available data reported to UNFCCC in NIR/CRF reports on total N fertilizer consumption for N, and for P mineral fertilizers data from the countries' submissions to Eurostat fertilizer statistics have been used. Due to different data sources used (farmer surveys vs trade/production statistics) and inherent problems (for instance inclusion of non-agricultural use in statistics based on trade and production) the quality of data cannot be sufficiently verified. There is need for a common methodology to estimate Fertiliser consumption by agriculture to ensure reliable and consistent estimations and comparability across MS. 

Data on crop production, livestock number, and agricultural area are available in all countries from harmonised and regulated European statistics (FSS, Livestock Surveys, Livestock registers, Crop Production Surveys). Livestock numbers have been checked with statistics in Eurostat. These data can be considered to be of good reliability.

Excretion coefficients available in countries have been used together with the livestock numbers to estimate manure production. The excretion coefficients represent the amount of N, respectively P, in manure at the time of excretion. No reductions have been made for N volatilisation from the moment of excretion till the application to the land. Verification and validation of the coefficients requires expert knowledge. A sufficient structure to verify and validate these coefficients is missing. In the case a country did not deliver N excretion coefficients, the N excretion has been estimated by animal numbers and excretion coefficients as reported in the 2016 countries' submissions of to UNFCCC GHG Inventory (http://unfccc.int/national_reports/annex_i_ghg_inventories/national_inventories_submissions/items/9492.php). In the case a country did not deliver P excretion coefficients, they have been estimated by Eurostat. The reliability and accuracy of these estimations are limited and as manure is a major input of the balance, this impacts the quality of the estimated balances.  A European uniform methodology and validation procedure to estimate excretion coefficients is necessary to ensure reliable and consistent estimations and comparability across MS. At present the estimation of coefficients vary between countries in methodology (expert judgement vs complex models based on statistical data) and in updating procedures (to take into account the effect of mitigation actions (other than reducing the level of production). Coefficients need to be updated regularly to reflect these changes in farmer practices (mitigation actions)). Because excretion is a large part of the balance, the data (especially the level of surplus) should be compared between countries with caution as these are largely depending on coefficients used which are based on varying methodologies.

Manure withdrawals, manure stocks and imports are not available in most countries but are likely not significant with the exception of a few countries (NL, CZ, EE, UK, CH). 

Crop production is available from reliable statistics for most of the significant crops cultivated except grassland. The harvest and grazing of grassland is estimated in some countries based on feed requirement models (for example the NL) while in other countries expert judgement is used. The estimation of grassland determines to a large extent the outcome of the N balance and therefore it is necessary to develop a uniform European method to estimate grassland production to ensure reliable and consistent estimations and comparability across MS. Only the N uptake by crops and fodder harvested and crop residuals removed from the field are included in the output of the balance. For permanent crops a part of the N uptake is stored in the plant (which is not harvested) and is therefore not at risk to run-off, leaching or volatilisation, this is not taken into account in the balance estimations. Many countries do not have coefficients (used to convert the production in nutrient content) available and reliability varies due to the method used (scientific research vs expert judgement). Verification and validation of these coefficients requires expert knowledge. A sufficient structure to verify and validate these coefficients is missing. Improvements in the coefficients used are therefore necessary.

Quality of data on seeds and planting material depends on the data sources and assumptions made, as well as the availability and quality of coefficients. In case countries did not have data available, N and P input from seeds have been estimated with data on cropped areas from Eurostat crop production statistics and default values of N and P coefficients listed in the last 2013 version of Eurostat/OECD GNB handbook. This item is however not of large significance to the final balance.

Biological fixation coefficients are limited available and determined by using different methods across MS (scientific research vs expert judgement). Verification and validation of these coefficients requires expert knowledge. A sufficient structure to verify and validate these coefficients is missing. Biological fixation in the grass/clover mixtures was provided by some countries and in case countries did not have data available, estimations by using the coefficients taken from the report of the EU research project Biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) in Europe have been calculated.

In case the deposition rates have not been obtained from countries the modelled data from EMEP (http://webdab.emep.int/Unified_Model_Results) have been used. In the future to ensure reliable and consistent estimations and comparability across MS, it is proposed to use data of EMEP for all MS. The current methodology does not prescribe a correction for N deposition for the Nitrogen deposited from Ammonia emissions by agriculture in the region. At the moment only the NL has corrected N deposition.

Reference area: The balance should in principle relate to the potential fertilised area, excluding very extensive unfertilised areas, to make comparisons between regions where agricultural production takes place in Europe useful and to identify the potential risks of agricultural production to the environment in respect to N surplus and deficits. To illustrate the necessity of identifying the correct reference area to make useful comparisons between regions in Europe: As an example suppose a country has 200.000 ha of very extensive area where 5% of production takes place and 200.000 ha of high intensive livestock and crop production. Though the N surplus of the high intensive area which produces 95% of total production could be high (for instance 100 kg N per ha), this would not show up in the balance for the whole country as including the large extensive area would reduce the surplus by almost half, masking the environmental problem that exists in part of the country. Extensive areas to be excluded from the balance have not been defined yet. Some countries however have identified and excluded certain extensive areas in their balance estimations.


12. Relevance Top
12.1. Relevance - User Needs

Main users are the general public and policy-makers interested in the integration of environmental concerns into the Common Agricultural Policy (see COM (2006) 508 final).

12.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

Informal contacts with users.

12.3. Completeness

Data is published as submitted by countries, subject to validation by Eurostat. Where data have been estimated by Eurostat, label "e" is used.

Data are available or have been estimated for the main inputs and outputs of the balance. These include: Consumption of Inorganic Fertilizers, Manure Production, Consumption of Other Organic Fertilisers (excluding livestock manure), Biological Fixation of Nitrogen, Atmospheric deposition of Nitrogen, Removal of nutrients by the harvest of Crops, Removal of nutrients by the harvest and grazing of Fodder.

Data are less available for: Consumption of Organic Fertilizers (excluding Manure), Manure Withdrawals, Manure Stocks, Manure Imports, Seeds and Planting Materials.


13. Accuracy Top
13.1. Accuracy - overall

Accuracy and reliability of basic data used to construct the balance:

Inorganic Fertilizers: Most countries use data based on sales and/or production and trade statistics. Some countries use farmer surveys. Data based on sales and/or production and trade statistics may be biased due to the inclusion of fertilizers not used in agriculture (private/public sector use, explosives, intermediate products etc). Reliability and accuracy of farmer surveys depend a.o. on the sampling design and size.

Organic Fertilizers (excluding manure): Data on organic fertilizers (excluding manure) are only available in some countries. Data from these countries show that organic fertilizers are not very significant in the N balance (<3% of total inputs on average between 2000-2014), the effect of missing data on organic fertilizers is therefore likely to be minor on the Gross Nitrogen Balance. 

Manure production: Manure production is estimated from animal numbers and excretion coefficients. Animal numbers should reflect the average amount of animals present during the year. Data on cattle, pigs, goats and sheep are available from European statistics such as the annual livestock statistics, the FSS and livestock registers. Livestock surveys may not represent the average amount of animals well as they refer to a specific day, which means that offspring for instance may not be included very well, however a correction can be made in the excretion coefficients to take into account the offspring. For poultry and other livestock data is less available. Some poultry types and equidea are counted in the FSS, countries may have other data sources available to estimate poultry and other livestock types.

As manure is a large input in the balance, excretion coefficients have a big impact on the final outcome. Excretion coefficients vary widely between countries, partly this reflects differences in farming practices and partly differences are caused due to the applied methodology and availability of data to calculate the coefficients. The used coefficients are not always consistent with coefficients reported to the UNFCCC GHG submissions. It is necessary to establish guidelines on the excretion coefficients to be used, to improve the transparency and the comparability of the balances between countries. For some countries N excretion coefficients were not available, for these countries the manure production has been estimated based on the data reported to the UNFCCC GHG Inventory 2016. Eurostat has estimated P excretion coefficients for countries where coefficients were not available based on data supplied by other countries. The reliability and accuracy of these estimations is limited. As manure is of significant importance to the final outcome, the reliability and accuracy of the balances estimated for these countries is also limited.

Manure withdrawals: Available data on manure withdrawals show that manure withdrawals are significant in NL (9.1% of total N manure production and 15.1% of total P manure production between 2000-2014) and in BE (6.7% of total N manure production and 12.3% of total P manure production between 2000-2014), while non-significant (<5% ) in other countries (AT, UK and CH). Most countries however do not have data or only limited data available on manure withdrawals, in the case when there are significant withdrawals this may lead to some overestimation of the manure input.

Manure imports: Data on manure imports were only available from CH. Manure imports were insignificant (0.1% of total manure N input and 0.2% of total manure P input, average 2000-2013) for this country. Trade of manure occurs mainly from high surplus countries to neighbouring countries. It is known that there are exports from for instance the NL to FR and DE. It is likely that countries with a high nutrient surplus like BE and DK may export manure as well. The exact amounts which goes to which country are not known, however from the size of the exports of the Netherlands it can be assumed that the effect on the balance of DE and FR is very limited, the manure imports are likely to be less than 5% of the total N manure input.

Biological fixation: Biological fixation by leguminous crops is calculated based on the area of leguminous crops and fixation coefficients. Data on areas of leguminous crops are generally available from landuse statistics. There is a wide variation in coefficients of biological fixation by leguminous crops between countries, partly this reflects differences climate and partly differences are caused due to the applied methodology (measurements, scientific research, expert judgements). It is necessary to review the coefficients used in relation to climate and crop N uptake. Biological fixation in the grass/clover mixtures was provided by some countries and in case countries did not have data available, estimations by using the coefficients taken from the report of the EU research project Biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) in Europe have been calculated.

Atmospheric N deposition: Atmospheric N deposition is estimated from landuse data and deposition rates. Some countries annually update deposition rates. Countries use different methodologies to estimate deposition rates (models, measurements, expert judgment, scientific research). Data on national N deposition should be available for all signatories to the UNECE Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air pollution. Modelled data is also available from EMEP at http://webdab.emep.int/Unified_Model_Results. Only the NL has made the correction of the deposition rate of Nitrogen for N-deposits from domestic agriculture.

Seeds and Planting materials: Data available show that share of seeds and planting material in total N input is <2%. It is also of minor importance for the P balance (<5% of total P input ). 

Harvested Crop production: Data on harvested crops are available from European statistics, the annual crop production statistics. Coefficients of nutrient contents of crop production vary between countries, partly this reflects differences in farming practices and climate and partly differences are caused due to the applied methodology (measurements, scientific research, expert judgements). It is necessary to review the coefficients used in relation to fertilizer and manure input and climate.

Crop residuals: Available data shows that the share of crop residuals in total N and also P output is lower than 3.5% (average 2000-2014). Missing data on crop residuals is therefore likely to be minor on the Gross Nutrient Balance.

Fodder: The estimates of grassland production and consumption have a big impact on the balance outcome (almost 40% of total N output and 30% of total P output in the EU28, average 2000-2011). At the moment approaches to estimate grassland production and consumption varies significantly between countries and the uncertainty in the estimates is significant. Grassland production includes fresh matter, grass silage, hay and grass grazed by ruminants. The yield and nutrient content of grassland can be estimated from measurements, scientific research, and expert judgements. Grassland consumption can also be estimated from a fodder balance, based on feed requirements and statistics on other feed. The estimation of grass grazed is particularly difficult. Data are in many countries only limited available (in respect with grassland areas and products taken into account). There is a need to improve the estimation of grassland production and consumption.

Reference Area: Data on Utilised Agricultural Area is available from Eurostat Crop Statistics (landuse). In principle only potential fertilized areas should be included in the balance and very extensive areas should be excluded from the balance. A clear definition of the areas to be excluded from the balance is lacking. Improvement in the definition of the reference area is needed as well as the methodology to correct for agricultural production taking place on these areas.

13.2. Sampling error

Not applicable

13.3. Non-sampling error

Not applicable


14. Timeliness and punctuality Top
14.1. Timeliness

The data are requested by gentlemen's agreement. The data received are validated and uploaded in Eurostat database.

As of January 1, 2018, the data collection is covered by an ESS agreement.

14.2. Punctuality

2015-2016 data was submitted up to 4 months after the deadline for delivery.


15. Coherence and comparability Top
15.1. Comparability - geographical

Geographical comparability is limited due to the different methodologies applied to calculate coefficients and differences in data sources used. Therefore data should not be directly compared between countries.

15.2. Comparability - over time

In general good comparability within countries over time. It is in general more accurate to compare the averages of periods of 3-5 years, in order to smooth climatic conditions.

15.3. Coherence - cross domain

Inorganic Fertilizers: Data should be coherent with available data submitted to Eurostat fertilizer statistics and/or with the national submissions to UNFCCC as reported in 2016 CRF in Table 3.D.

Livestock numbers reported in the GNB should reflect the average amount of animals present during the year. Livestock surveys may not represent the average amount of animals well as they refer to a specific day. Data on cattle, pigs, goats and sheep are available from the annual livestock statistics. Data received in the GNB should be coherent with data available from the Livestock Surveys. Some poultry types and equidea are counted in the FSS, data received from countries with the GNB are coherent with data in FSS.

Landuse of leguminous crops, arable land, permanent grassland and land under permanent crops received with the GNB have been compared to data on landuse from crop statistics. Data should be coherent with landuse statistics of crop statistics.

Harvested Crop production: Data on harvested crops and fodder received with the GNB have been compared to data from the annual crop statistics, data should be coherent with crop statistics.

15.4. Coherence - internal

Not available


16. Cost and Burden Top

Cost and burden are mainly related to the compilation of the balances. Data are mainly derived from existing data sources and reporting requirements.


17. Data revision Top
17.1. Data revision - policy

Preliminary data are labelled "P" and concerns the latest year available. The reason is the time lag of inventories publishing N emissions (2 years).

Revisions are made if and when countries revise the balance estimations or new data come available. This can mean updating whole country time series in case national emission/excretion coefficients become available. Such revisions are not labelled and are likely to happen with each update. 

17.2. Data revision - practice

Variables might be added and/or revised in the future.


18. Statistical processing Top
18.1. Source data

The balance is the final outcome of a set of calculations provided by the countries. Countries use several data sources to estimate the balances. The basic data used include the consumption of fertilizers (tonnes), livestock population (1000 heads), manure imports, exports and treatment (tonnes), crop and fodder production (tonnes), crop residues (tonnes), seed production (tonnes), area of leguminous crops (1000 ha), utilized agricultural area (1000 ha). Countries may have used different types of data sources for these data. For instance some countries use estimates of the livestock population based on data from the Livestock Surveys or they have used other data sources like national registers on livestock. Data sources that are used available in Eurostat include: Crop Production Statistics (production and landuse), Livestock Statistics (livestock numbers), FSS (livestock numbers).

Countries have estimated coefficients based on measurements, scientific research, expert judgment, default values etc.

For the countries which don’t provide data, estimates are calculated and published by Eurostat based on various available data sources, most importantly the Eurostat fertilizers, crop and livestock statistics, National inventory submissions to UNFCCC and CLRTAP, Fertilizers Europe and FAO database.

18.2. Frequency of data collection

Every second year. Next collection in 2019.

18.3. Data collection

The transmission file for the gross nitrogen balance consists of 27 interconnected excel worksheets and the transmission file for phosphorus balances of 20 interconnected excel worksheets. The transmission files are pre-described and discussed in advance of data collection with countries in the Working Group meeting on Agro-environmental statistics.

The methodology of the balances are described in the Eurostat/OECD Nutrient Budgets Handbook. Te balance is estimated from total nutrient inputs minus total nutrient outputs. Inputs include Fertilisers, Manure, Seeds and planting material, biological nitrogen fixation and atmospheric nitrogen deposition. Outputs include removal of nutrients with the harvest of crops, harvest and grazing of fodder, removal and burning of crop residues and nitrogen emissions. The nutrient input or nutrient output is estimated by multiplying basic data of amounts with coefficients to convert the data into nutrient contents. Basic data (fertiliser consumption, crop production, livestock number, agricultural area) are mostly derived from agricultural statistics. Coefficients are mainly estimated by research institutes and can be based on models, statistical data, measured data as well as expert judgements. The final sheets of the transmission files calculate the results which are disseminated in Eurostat online database. There are no confidential data involved.

18.4. Data validation

Data validation includes checks with data from available data sources in Eurostat, Fertilizers Europe, FAO, GHG inventories, CLRTAP submissions, EMEP modelled depositions, data from other countries and sources, checks for internal coherence, aggregates, completeness etc.

Guidelines are described in the Handbook. Countries are expected to follow the Guidelines. In case countries deviate from the guidelines this should be clearly noted in the metadata file.

18.5. Data compilation

Data in the balance calculations are compiled by countries. When possible, missing data are imputed or estimated by Eurostat from other available sources and sent to countries for approval.

18.6. Adjustment

For the countries which don’t provide data, estimates are calculated and published by Eurostat based on various available data sources, most importantly the Eurostat fertilizers, crop and livestock statistics, National inventory submissions to UNFCCC and CLRTAP, Fertilizers Europe and FAO database.


19. Comment Top

None


Related metadata Top


Annexes Top
Eurostat/OECD Nutrient Budgets Handbook