Reports 2020/03

Agriculture and environment 2019 - state and development

This publication is in Norwegian only.

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Statistics Norway prepares the annual report “Agriculture and Environment - State and Development” on commission from the Norwegian Agriculture Agency. 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 the report.

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 1999-2018 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 2018, the agricultural area in use was estimated to about 0.99 million hectares. In 2018 there were 39 700 holdings with agricultural activity in Norway, 44 per cent lower than in 1999.

Transfer of agricultural area to non-agriculture purposes

In 2018, 360 hectares cultivated land and 900 hectares of cultivable land were transferred to non-agricultural use.

Organic farming

In 2018, certified organic agricultural area, including area under conversion, covered 4.7 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 2018, 7 per cent of the Norwegian population lived on an agricultural property. About 144 900 agricultural properties had one or several dwelling houses. Of these, 23 per cent were uninhabited. The number of holdings with “seter” (mountain dairy farming) has been reduced significantly during the last century. In 2018, subsidies of NOK 44 million were given to 838 “seter” in use.

Sales of commercial fertiliser

In 2017/2018, the total amount of nutrients in commercial fertiliser was on the same level as in the late 1960’s. The sales of nitrogen were on the same level as in the late 1970’s, while the sales of phosphorus were lower than in the 1950’s.

Plant protection

Compared to 2001, which was the first survey conducted by Statistics Norway on the use of pesticides in agriculture, the use of herbicides, fungicides and pesticides respectively was about 26, 28 and 81 percentage points lower than in 2001. Total pesticide usage, measured in active substance, was about 19 percentage points lower in 2017 than in 2001.

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 2019.

Emissions into air from agriculture

According to statistics for 2018, agriculture alone accounted for 74 per cent of the total emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O) in Norway. Nearly 95 per cent of the emissions of the acidic gas ammonia (NH3) originate from different agricultural activities.

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