On the use of fertilizers for agricultural crops in 2008

07.05.2009

Data of the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) show that, in 2008 total volume of fertilizers used on agricultural crops has reduced by 2%, if compared to 2007. It was influenced by the fertilizer price growth – prices on average increased by 70%.

In 2008 51% of total area under agricultural crops were treated with mineral fertilizers, of which 78% of areas under cereals and 94% under rape, but only 14% of potatoes, 17% of open field vegetables and 12% of perennial grass.

In 2008 81.8 thsd t of mineral fertilizers were used. And, if expressed as 100% of nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium), it constitutes on average 74 kg per 1ha of total sown area. Compared to previous year use of fertilizers on selected agricultural crops has changed. In 2008 use of fertilizers per one hectare of industrial crops has grown significantly – by 14%, use on fertilizers on cereals has remained at the level of previous year, but volume used on potatoes has reduced by 35%, and on vegetables – by 3%.

Use of mineral fertilizers on 1 ha of sown area, recalculating to 100% of plant food elements, kg



Use of primary nutrient – nitrogen – has grown from 41 kg per one hectare of sown area in 2007 to 43 kg in 2008, but use of phosphorus and potassium has slightly reduced.

Use of mineral fertilizers on total sown area, recalculating to 100% of plant food (kg/ha), 2005 - 2008

Use of nitrogen on cereals has increased – in 2008 use of nitrogen per one hectare of sown area has grown by 3 kg, if compared to previous year, of which volume used on winter cereals – by 5 kg, on rape – by 18 kg, but volume of nitrogen used on potatoes has diminished by 5 kg. In Latvia totally average consumption of mineral fertilizers is lower than in other economically developed countries.

Use of nitrogen on agricultural crops

Used nitrogen, total, thsd t

% of previous year

Per 1 ha of sown area, kg

2007

2008

2007

2008

Cereals

32.5

35.3

108.6

62

65

Winter cereals

19.0

21.6

113.7

81

86

Spring cereals

13.5

13.7

101.5

47

47

Potatoes

0.5

0.3

60.0

13

8

Rape

8.6

8.7

101.2

87

105

Open field vegetables

0.1

0.1

84.0

13

13

In 2008 45% of straight nitrogen mineral fertilizers and 55% of complex mineral fertilizers were used on agricultural crops (in 2007 38% and 61%, respectively). Moreover, 35% of all mineral fertilizers used were ammonium nitrate.

Use of suitable fertilizers influences the yield and quality of cereals significantly. According to the data large farms, which ensured more optimal use of fertilizers, had higher yield of cereals.

Grouping of farms by sown area under cereals

Area, ha

Average volume of mineral fertilizers used, per 1ha of total sown area, kg

Of which nitrogen used

Average yield from 1 ha, cnt

Up to 200.0

94

54

23.6

200.1 – 400.0

173

99

34.5

400.1 – 600.0

234

134

41.4

600.1 – 800.0

236

133

35.2

800.1 – 1000.0

254

157

43.9

1000.1 and more

277

168

52.4

In 2008 total use of organic fertilizers on agricultural crops has reduced. It was influenced by the reduction of livestock number, extended pasture season, as well as by the use of organic fertilizers for the acquisition of biogas.

Compared to 2007 in 2008 use of organic fertilizers decreased by 249 thsd t or by 9%, as well as average consumption of organic fertilizers per one hectare of sown area has reduced from 2.5t in 2007 to 2.3t in 2008, of which volume used on cereals from 1.7t to 1.5t, on potatoes – from 24.4t to 20.6t, on open field vegetables – from 13.2t to 5.5t.

Agricultural Statistics Section
Guna Karlsone
Tel. 67366981