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You are here: Home / Data and maps / Indicators / AGRI_F03: Gross nutrient balance - outlook from EEA / AGRI_F03: Gross nutrient balance - outlook from EEA (Outlook 020) - Assessment published Jun 2007

AGRI_F03: Gross nutrient balance - outlook from EEA (Outlook 020) - Assessment published Jun 2007

Indicator Assessmentexpired Created 08 Jan 2007 Published 08 Jun 2007 Last modified 12 Nov 2013, 09:03 AM
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Generic metadata


Environmental scenarios Environmental scenarios (Primary topic)

Agriculture Agriculture

forward looking indicators | agriculture | nutrients
DPSIR: Pressure
Typology: Descriptive indicator (Type A - What is happening to the environment and to humans?)
Indicator codes
  • Outlook 020
Geographic coverage:

Key policy question: What are the prospects to reduce environmental impact of agriculture?

Key messages

Nutrient surpluses are expected to be moderately reduced in 2020. Best practices for fertilizer handling could significantly reduce the environmental pressures which are associated with nutrient balances.

Projections of changes in gross nutrient balance

Note: N/A

Data source:

European environment outlook, EEA Report No 4/2005

Downloads and more info

Key assessment

Baseline scenario

The following developments are expected for nutrient balance:

  •    Overall, nutrient surpluses are expected to be moderately reduced in 2020 (by 6%, 8% and 12% for N, P, K respectively). 
  •  There are striking differences between the EU-15 and the New-8 projections.
  • Nutrient surpluses in the New-8 are expected to increase by 63% for nitrogen (N), 84% for phosphate (P) and 27% for potassium (K) as a result of the expected sharp increase in the use of mineral fertilizers.
  • In the EU-15, surpluses are expected to decrease (by 12% for N, 25% for P and 16% for K) because of a stable use of fertilizers and an increase in export in harvested material.
  • The share of the New-8 in N, P, K surpluses in 2020 is expected to be 14%, 14% and 11% respectively (these are 8%, 6% and 7% in the base year, 2000).

The main reasons of the expectations are provided above and include dependence amount of fertilizers and market's conditions with nutrient balances.

Alternative scenarios:

  • The liberalization of animal product markets leads to a limited change in the environmental indicator. The N, P, K surpluses decrease by 4% to 5%, smaller than might be expected (Liberalization of animal product markets scenario)

In 2020, the N,P,K surpluses are expected to be reduced compared with the baseline scenario by 25%, 70%, and 57% respectively. (Best practice scenario for fertiliser handling)

Data sources

More information about this indicator

See this indicator specification for more details.

Contacts and ownership

EEA Contact Info

Anita Pirc Velkavrh


EEA Management Plan

2010 (note: EEA internal system)


European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Phone: +45 3336 7100