The goal of the agricultural sub-model is to describe the choices made by agricultural producers and the associated greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental effects, such as water pollution from the release of nitrogen and phosphorus and air pollution from the release of ammonia.
There are three main challenges to modelling emissions from agriculture. The first challenge is that agricultural production is not sufficiently disaggregated in the Danish National Accounts to adequately model the environmental and climate effects. The second challenge is that agriculture has a different production structure than other sectors in the economy. The third challenge is that a significant share of emissions from agricultural production comes not from fuel consumption, but instead from the digestive process of livestock, the handling and storage of manure and the use of fertilizers in crop production.
The agricultural sub-model solves these three problems. With inspiration from the international literature as well as the existing Danish agro-economic model ESMERALDA, production functions have been constructed for animal and plant production, reflecting the actual production structure in the agricultural sector. Land use is for example included as an input in plant production. The production structure used allows for modelling of emissions from agriculture (energy-related and non-energy-related) in direct relation to the inputs, which give rise to emissions. Emissions from the use of fertilizers on fields are, for example, directly linked to the input of manure and artificial fertilizers.
Documentation af ESMERALDA (in Danish)
Calculations made on the ESMARALDA model (in Danish)
Plant and animal production is divided into 12 different production subsectors, which combined correspond with the agricultural sector in the National Accounts. The production subsectors supply inputs to each other as well as agricultural goods to the rest of the economy.
Development of the agriculture sub-model has initially been focused on adequately modelling the emission of greenhouse gases from agriculture. The plan, however, is that the sub-model will also be able to describe a range of other environmental effects from agricultural production. The goal is for the model to explain the agricultural emission of:
Nitrogen (see also description below)