Reports 2019/05

Agriculture and Environment 2018

State and Development

This publication is in Norwegian only.

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Statistics Norway produces the annual report “Agriculture and Environment - State and Development” on 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 which is in English. The report is available on the Internet: Agriculture and Environment - State and Development

Land use and agricultural holdings

In the period 1999-2017 the agricultural area in use was reduced by 5 per cent. Fully cultivated agricultural land decreased by 9 per cent, while there was a 32 per cent increase in infield pastures. In 2017, the agricultural area in use was estimated to about 0.99 million hectares. In 2017 there were 40 300 holdings with agricultural activity in Norway, 43 per cent lower than in 1999.

Transfer of agricultural area to non-agriculture purposes

In 2017, 400 hectares cultivated land and 480 hectares of cultivable land were transferred to non-agricultural use.

Organic farming

In 2017, certified organic agricultural area, including area under conversion, covered 4.8 per cent of the total agricultural area in use. The number of holdings with organic farming was about 2 000, comprising 5.1 per cent of the total number of agricultural holdings in Norway.

Cultivated landscape

In 2017, 7 per cent of the Norwegian population lived on an agricultural property. About 146 100 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 2017, subsidies of NOK 36 million were given to 861 “seter” in use.

Sales of commercial fertiliser

In 2016/2017, 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.

Plant protection

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. 76 per cent of the classified Norwegian water bodies had high or good ecological status in 2018.

Emissions into air from agriculture

According to statistics for 2017, agriculture alone accounted for 75 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.

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