Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Agricultural Land
Agricultural land and animal husbandry, both conventional and KRAV-certified, contribute to emission of greenhouse gases that have a negative impact on the climate. Agricultural land emits greenhouse gases when used, something that can be influenced to some extent by how the land is managed. Areas of humus soil (soil in bogs and marshes) that are drained to be used as agricultural land have the highest emissions of greenhouse gases. Therefore, the KRAV Standards prohibit new cultivation of humus soil.
Artificial fertilizers cause large emissions of greenhouse gases, both during production and use, and large amounts of fossil fuels are used in the production. Most emissions of the potent greenhouse gas nitrous oxide come from fertilizers used in conventional agriculture.
Artificial fertilizers must not be used in KRAV-certified agriculture. Instead, KRAV farmers fertilize with organic material such as manure from, for example, cows or pigs, which is positive for both the climate and the cultivated soil. Manure provides nutrition for small animals and microorganisms that live in the soil, nutrients needed to keep the soil healthy and nutritious. The humus content is maintained or increased which means that the soil becomes fertile, can retain more water and nutrients and is more resistant to drought. In addition, these healthy soils can store climate-impacting carbon dioxide. This effect is reinforced by KRAV farmers with animals as they cultivate a lot of grazing land (grass and clover) that also binds carbon dioxide from the air.
Variation crop rotation reduce plant nutrient losses
Even manure emits greenhouse gases. The leakage of plant nutrients is about the same in KRAV-certified and conventional production, but excess nitrogen that can leak is less per hectare in a KRAV farmer’s field. For KRAV farmers, there are standards on variation of crop rotation and measures that can reduce plant nutrient losses and thus greenhouse gas emissions. For example, the soil can have a ground cover in the winter, manure can be stored covered and handled so that as few nutrients as possible leak out and is spread with the appropriate technology and at the appropriate time.