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Flows of plant nutrients in the food and the fodder cycle were quantified in a district in southern Sweden. In the agricultural system with a livestock density 30% higher than the Swedish average, the N-surplus was 100 kg N ha-1 and P-surplus was 9 kg P ha-1. There is a relation between nutrient surpluses in agriculture and livestock density. A large part of the N-surplus is emitted as nitrate-N and ammonia-N while the P-surplus accumulates in the soil. The nutrients in the organic waste from the food consumption in the district corresponded to 22 kg N ha-1 and 4 kg P ha-1, the population density related to arable land was 15% higher than the Swedish average. Due to the present system of treatment of the surplus products from food consumption, 11% of P and less than 3% of N in the food intake were recycled back to arable land.
Ambio © 1999 Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences