02 May 2014

Assumptions and Data Sources

for Crop Nutrient Balances


Fertilizer data are from Canadian Fertilizer Consumption, Shipments and Trade
Maurice Korol & Gina Rattray
Farm Input Markets Unit, Farm Income and Adaptation Policy Directorate
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (613) 759-7284
Supplemental data (2002-2009) from the Canadian Fertilizer Institute and Statistics Canada,
available at http://www.cfi.ca/industrystats/
Additional data provided by the Association des fabricants d'engrais du Québec (AFEQ) and the Atlantic Fertilizer Institute
Data from 2007 onward from Statistics Canada (CANSIM)Table 001-0069 - Fertilizer shipments to Canadian agriculture markets, by nutrient content and fertilizer year, cumulative data, annual (metric tonnes)


Manure nutrient supply was estimated in two ways:
1) amount as excreted
2) available amount in recoverable manure
Only cattle, hogs and poultry are included. Other significant sources may include turkeys, horses, sheep, goats, and wildlife.
USDA-NRCS figures for manure output per head were assumed valid for 1990, with nutrient output increasing by 0.5% each year since then, and decreasing by that amount for each year prior to 1990.
Details of calculations used in the estimates are explained in the attached Excel worksheet.

Crop Removal

Crop removal of nutrients was estimated by multiplying Statistics Canada production figures by standard coefficients for nutrient removal per tonne of harvest. The details are in the attached Excel spreadsheet. Crops included are Barley, Dry beans, Buckwheat, Canary seed, Canola, Caraway seed, Chick peas, Coriander, Corn for grain, Fodder corn, Fababeans, Flaxseed, Lentils, Mixed grains, Mustard seed, Oats, Peas, Potato, Rye, Safflower, Soybeans, Sugar beets, Sunflower seed, Tame hay, Triticale, and Wheat. Other miscellaneous crops (fruits, vegetables, etc.) and pastures are not included.

Nutrient Balance

The nutrient balance is based on all of the above. Legume nitrogen fixation is estimated as crop removal of N by soybeans, plus half the removal by hay and dry bean crops. It is assumed that half of the tame hay production comprises alfalfa and alfalfa mixtures which may obtain most of their N by biological fixation.

In the spreadsheet, the balances are provided in kilograms per hectare (kg/ha), pounds per acre (lb/A), and in terms of the total metric tonnes for each jurisdiction.


Bruulsema, T. W., Mullen, R. W., O'Halloran, I. P. and Warncke, D. D. 2011. Agricultural phosphorus balance trends in Ontario, Michigan and Ohio. Can. J. Soil Sci. 91: 437–442.

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