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The Common Agricultural Policy and the Environment

The European Commission has adopted 28 agri-environmental indicators (AEIs) to assess the interaction between the CAP and the environment.

These AEIs track: a) Farm management practices, b) Agricultural production systems, c) Pressures and risks to the environment, d) The state of natural resources.

AEI 1 – Agri-environmental commitments
MAIN INDICATOR: Share of area under agri-environmental commitments in total UAA
SUPPORTING INDICATOR: Area under agri-environmental commitments (per category); Trends of EU expenditure on agri-environmental measures; Share of agricultural holdings enrolled in agri-environmental measures

AEI 2 – Agricultural areas under Natura 2000
MAIN INDICATOR: Share of UAA under Natura 2000 on total UAA
SUPPORTING INDICATOR: UAA under Natura 2000; Share of Natura 2000 payments on total RD expenditure

AEI 3 – Farmers’ training level and use of environmental farm advisory services
MAIN INDICATOR: Number (share) of farmers having participated in vocational trainings and having made use of environmental farm advisory services per year
SUPPORTING INDICATOR: Share of farmers having only practical experience, basic agricultural training or full agricultural training

AEI 4 – Area under organic farming
MAIN INDICATOR: Share of areas under organic farming in total UAA
SUPPORTING INDICATOR: Area under organic farming

AEI 5 – Mineral fertiliser consumption
MAIN INDICATOR: Application rates (kg per ha) of N (Nitrogen) and P (Phosphorus)
SUPPORTING INDICATOR: Absolute volumes (tonnes) of N and P

AEI 6 – Consumption of pesticides
MAIN INDICATOR: Application rates of different pesticide categories
SUPPORTING INDICATOR: Used/sold quantities of pesticide categories

AEI 7 – Irrigation
MAIN INDICATOR: Share of irrigable areas in total UAA
SUPPORTING INDICATOR: Irrigable areas, irrigated areas; irrigated crops; irrigation methods

AEI 8 – Energy use
MAIN INDICATOR: Total direct energy use at farm level in KgOE per ha per year
SUPPORTING INDICATOR: Annual direct use of energy at farm level by fuel type (KgOE per ha)

AEI 9 – Land use change
MAIN INDICATOR: Percentage of the total agricultural area that has changed to artificial surfaces compared to a reference period
SUPPORTING INDICATOR: Land use change from agricultural land to artificial surfaces (ha)

AEI 10.1 – Cropping patterns
MAIN INDICATOR: Share of the main agricultural land types (arable crops, permanent grassland and permanent crops) on UAA
SUPPORTING INDICATOR: Area occupied by the main agricultural land types

AEI 10.2 – Livestock patterns
MAIN INDICATOR: Total livestock density (total livestock per ha of UAA) and grazing livestock density (grazing livestock per ha of fodder area)
SUPPORTING INDICATOR: Number and share of major livestock types (cattle, equidae, goats, sheep, pigs and poultry)

AEI 11.1 – Soil cover
MAIN INDICATOR: Share of the year where the arable area is covered by plants or plant residues
SUPPORTING INDICATOR: Share of arable area covered by winter crops or annual green crops

AEI 11.2 – Tillage practices
MAIN INDICATOR: Share of arable areas under conventional, conservation and zero tillage
SUPPORTING INDICATOR: Arable areas under convention, conservation and zero tillage

AEI 11.3 – Manure storage
MAIN INDICATOR: Share of farms having storage facilities for solid dung, liquid manure and slurry
SUPPORTING INDICATOR: Share of manure applied with different application techniques and incorporation time

AEI 12 – Intensification/extensification
MAIN INDICATOR: Trend in the shares of the UAA managed by low, medium and high intensity farms
SUPPORTING INDICATOR: Average inputs expenditures per hectare in constant input prices

AEI 13 – Specialisation
MAIN INDICATOR: Share of the UAA managed by specialised farming

AEI 14 – Risk of land abandonment
MAIN INDICATOR: Composite index of the risk of land abandonment
SUPPORTING INDICATOR: Key drivers of the risk of land abandonment

AEI 15 – Gross nitrogen balance
MAIN INDICATOR: Potential surplus of nitrogen on agricultural land (kg N per ha per year)

AEI 16 – Risk of pollution by phosphorus
MAIN INDICATOR: Potential surplus of phosphorus on agricultural land (kg P per ha per year)
SUPPORTING INDICATOR: Vulnerability to phosphorus leaching/run-off

AEI 17 – Pesticide risk
MAIN INDICATOR: Index of risk of damage from pesticide toxicity and exposure

AEI 18 – Ammonia emissions
MAIN INDICATOR: Ammonia emissions from agriculture (kilotonnes of NH3 per year)

AEI 19 – Greenhouse gas emissions
MAIN INDICATOR: GHG emissions from agriculture (kilotonnes of CO2 equivalents per year)
SUPPORTING INDICATOR: Share of agriculture in total GHG emissions

AEI 20 – Water abstraction
MAIN INDICATOR: Share of agriculture in water use
SUPPORTING INDICATOR: Water use for irrigation (m3 per year)

AEI 21 – Soil erosion
MAIN INDICATOR: Areas with a certain level of erosion
SUPPORTING INDICATOR: Estimated soil loss by water erosion (tonnes per ha per year)

AEI 22 – Genetic diversity
MAIN INDICATOR: Number and range of crop varieties and livestock breeds
SUPPORTING INDICATOR: Share in production of main crop varieties registered and certified for marketing; Number of breeds per total livestock population for different types of livestock; Distribution of risk status of national livestock breeds in agriculture

AEI 23 – High nature value farmland
MAIN INDICATOR: Share of estimated HNV farmland on total UAA
SUPPORTING INDICATOR: Estimated area of HNV farmland

AEI 24 – Renewable energy production
MAIN INDICATOR: Share of primary energy from crops and by-products as of total energy production
SUPPORTING INDICATOR: Production of primary energy from crops and by-products; Area of energy crops and short rotation forestry; Supported areas for renewable energy production

AEI 25 – Population trends of farmland birds
MAIN INDICATOR: Population trends of selected bird species that are common and characteristic of European farmland landscapes

AEI 26 – Soil quality
MAIN INDICATOR: Composite agri-environmental soil quality index
SUPPORTING INDICATOR: Soil biomass productivity index; Fertiliser response rate; Production stability index; Soil environmental services index (Organic carbon storage; Substances filtering; Substances transforming; Biodiversity and biological activity)

AEI 27.1 – Water quality – Nitrate pollution
MAIN INDICATOR: Rivers and groundwater with nitrate concentration exceeding the Nitrates Directive limits
SUPPORTING INDICATOR: Share of agriculture in total nitrate pollution

AEI 27.2 – Water quality – Pesticide pollution
MAIN INDICATOR: Groundwater and rivers with pesticide concentrations above Environmental Quality Standards (EQS)

AEI 28 – Landscape – state and diversity
MAIN INDICATOR: Dominance and internal structure of agrarian landscape; Degree of influence on land cover and state due to human (agricultural) activities; Social awareness of the agrarian landscape