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Nitrogen soil surplus per ha - Derogation farms

Nitrogen soil surplus further decreased
20/07/2022

In addition to the farm surplus, the input and output of nitrogen at farm level also largely determines the soil surplus. The nitrogen soil surplus on farms in the derogation monitoring network is also dependent on nitrogen input via deposition, fixation (leguminous crops) and mineralisation, and on nitrogen output through gaseous losses. The nitrogen soil surplus on farms in the derogation monitoring network fell to 156 kg/ha in 2019. The year 2019 is therefore the year with the lowest nitrogen soil surplus in the period from 2006.



Nitrogen soil surplus is decreasing 
The average N-surplus on the soil balance was 156 kg nitrogen per hectare in 2019 and was the lowest in the period 2006 to 2018. The N-surplus on the soil balance is 24 kg/ha lower than the average for the years 2006-2018 and shows a decreasing trend over the period 2006 to 2019. In 2018, the nitrogen soil surplus was still relatively high with 188 kg/ha. As a result of very dry weather conditions in that year, crop yields were low and, as a result, nitrogen fixation in crops was also low. The spread between farms is large for all years. In 2019, 25% of the farms in the derogation monitoring network realised a nitrogen soil surplus below 108 kg/ha, while the 25% farms with the highest nitrogen soil surplus were above 188 kg/ha. The nitrogen soil surplus was highest in all years in the Peat Region as a result of the high calculated nitrogen supply via mineralisation in this region (average 91 kg/ha in 2019). In 2019, the nitrogen soil surplus in the Peat Region was on average 204 kg/ha. The nitrogen soil surplus was lowest in the Loess Region, with an average of 116 kg/ha. The Sand-230, Sand-250 and Clay Regions were in between with a nitrogen soil surplus of 136, 140 and 156 kg/ha respectively. Over the entire period from 2006 to 2019, four of the five soil type regions show a declining trend in the nitrogen soil surplus. This is only not the case for the Loess region.



Decrease in nitrogen deposition and nitrogen fixation 
In addition, to the input items that are included in the calculation of the nitrogen farm surplus (feed, fertiliser, animal manure, other organic manure, animals and remaining), the calculation of the nitrogen soil surplus also takes into account the supply of nitrogen through deposition, nitrogen fixation via leguminous plants crops and mineralisation on farms with peaty and/or wetland soils. In the period 2006-2019, the nitrogen supply via deposition on farms in the derogation monitoring network decreased on average by almost 10 kg/ha to 21 kg/ha. The supply as a result of nitrogen fixation by leguminous crops amounted to 12 kg/ha in the early years of the derogation monitoring network, from 2010 it is 8 kg/ha and from 2013 it is 6 to 7 kg/ha. On derogation farms in the Peat Region, the nitrogen supply due to mineralisation of organic soils varied from 79 to 94 kg/ha in the period 2006-2018. In 2019 it was 91 kg/ha. In the other soil type regions, mineralisation played a much smaller role. In 2019, this concerned 18, 4, 4 and 0 kg/ha respectively in the Sand-250, Clay, Sand-230 and Loess Region.



Nitrogen output stable due to gaseous emission
The output of nitrogen through pasture, stable and storage and manure application emissions in 2019 amounted to an average of 58 kg/ha on farms in the derogation monitoring network. The gaseous emissions from manure application on the one hand and from stables and storage on the other hand were almost the same with 29 and 28 kg/ha respectively. The gaseous emission from pastures was only 1 kg/ha. In the period 2006-2019, the total emissions varied from 55 to 62 kg nitrogen per hectare, with no increasing or decreasing trend. The total emission in 2019 was lowest in the Loess Region with 46 kg/ha and highest in the Clay Region with 61 kg/ha.




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Marga Hoogeveen
+3170-3358325
 

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