Dutch plan to reduce phosphates by culling and fines

Published 24 November 16

A three-pronged approach has been proposed to the Dutch government to reduce phosphates from 2017. At present, the Dutch phosphate limit is 172.9m kg (million kilograms), which has been exceeded for the past three years.

LTO Netherlands, NZO, Nevedi, NAJK, NMV and Rabobank have compiled the plan, with €50m available for support, which is set to be agreed next year. If implemented, it could see a significant reduction in Dutch cattle numbers (approx. 175k head, 11%) and, thus, milk production.

The plan would see a reduction in the dairy herd, with compensation, penalties for those producing more milk than a predetermined reference quantity and reducing the levels of phosphorus in compound animal feeds. The combined effect of this is expected to lead to a total reduction of 8.2m kg (2.5m, 4m and 1.7m kg, respectively, for each measure).