Agriculture and Environment
State and Development 2013
Sustainable and climate-friendly use of resources
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 and is available on the Internet: http://www.ssb.no/emner/10/04/
Land use and agricultural holdings
In the period 1999-2012 the agricultural area in use was reduced by 4.4 per cent. Fully cultivated agricultural land decreased by 8 per cent, while there was a 29 per cent increase in infield pastures. In 2012 the agricultural area in use was estimated to about 0.99 million hectares. In 2012 there were 44 800 holdings with agricultural activity in Norway, 37 per cent lower than in 1999.
Transfer of agricultural area to non-agriculture purposes
In 2012, 660 hectares cultivated land and 460 hectares of cultivable land were transferred to non-agricultural use.
In 2012, organic farming covered about 5 per cent of the total agricultural area in use. The number of holdings with organic farming was 2 600, comprising 6 per cent of the total number of agricultural holdings in Norway.
The Norwegian Food Safety Authorities has developed risk indicators for the use of pesticides in agriculture. The environmental health risk decreased by 7 percentage points from 2008 to 2011, whereas the health risk increased by 3 points in the same period.
Sales of commercial fertiliser
In 2012, 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.
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. A risk assessment concludes that 58 per cent of all Norwegian water bodies will reach this goal within 2021.
Emissions into air from agriculture
According to statistics for 2012, agriculture alone accounted for 73 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.