Agriculture and environment 2016
State and Development
Statistics Norway produces the report “Agriculture and Environment - State and Development” on annual commission from the Norwegian Agricultural Authority. The report contains statistical information on status and development of agri-environmental issues in Norwegian agriculture. A wide range of data sources from Statistics Norway and other institutions serve as input to this information.
The report is published in Norwegian apart from chapter two wich is in English. The report is available on the Internet: Agriculture and Environment - State and Development
Land use and agricultural holdings
In the period 1999-2015 the agricultural area in use was reduced by 5 per cent. Fully cultivated agricultural land decreased by 9 per cent, while there was a 28 per cent increase in infield pastures. In 2015 the agricultural area in use was estimated to about 0.99 million hectares. In 2015 there were 42 000 holdings with agricultural activity in Norway, 41 per cent lower than in 1999.
Transfer of agricultural area to non-agriculture purposes
In 2015, 630 hectares cultivated land and 630 hectares of cultivable land were transferred to non-agricultural use.
In 2015 organic farming covered about 4.5 per cent of the total agricultural area in use. The number of holdings with organic farming was 2 100, comprising 5.0 per cent of the total number of agricultural holdings in Norway.
Around 8 per cent of the Norwegian population lived on an agricultural property in 2015. About 149 000 agricultural properties had one or several dwelling houses. Of these, one in five was uninhabited. The number of holdings with “seter” (mountain dairy farming) has been reduced significantly during the last century. In 2015, subsidies of NOK 35 million were given to 915 “seter” in use.
Sales of commercial fertiliser
In 2015, the total amount of nutrients in commercial fertiliser was on the same level as in the 1960’s. The sales of nitrogen were on the same level as in the 1970’s, while the sales of phosphorus were lower than in the 1950’s.
The Norwegian Food Safety Authorities has developed risk indicators for the use of pesticides in agriculture. The environmental health risk decreased by 1 percentage point for 2014 as compared to 2001, whereas the health risk decreased by 15 points in the same period.
Discharges of nutrients to waterways and ocean environment
The main purpose of the EU Water Directive is to achieve “good conditions” in all waterways regarding pollution and ecological conditions. 71 per cent of all Norwegian water bodies had high or good ecological status in 2016.
Emissions into air from agriculture
According to statistics for 2015, agriculture alone accounted for 72 per cent of the total emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O) in Norway. Slightly over 90 per cent of the emissions of the acidic gas ammonia (NH3) originate from different agricultural activities.