Dutch farmers protest government's strict nitrogen rules

Farmers are expected to reduce livestock numbers by 30%


By: Global Ag Media

via The Poultry Site - 22 June 2022


Thousands of farmers gathered in a village near the centre of the Netherlands on Wednesday to protest a government plan to curb nitrogen pollution, reported Reuters, many travelling by tractor from all corners of the country and snarling traffic.


The protest in Stroe, 70 kilometres east of Amsterdam, follows the introduction last week of targets for reducing pollution by harmful nitrogen compounds in some areas by up to 70% by 2030 - the latest attempt to solve a problem that has plagued the country for years.


Reductions are necessary in emissions of nitrogen oxides from farm animal manure and use of ammonia for fertilisation, the government says. Nitrogen oxides in the atmosphere help form acid rain, while fertiliser washed into lakes can cause algal blooms that kill marine life.


Farmers argue the targets are poorly conceived and unfair. They are expected to lead to a 30% reduction in the number of Dutch livestock, with effects more concentrated in agricultural areas bordering nature preserves.


"These reductions are so severe that those rural communities will be totally devastated economically, and that's the reason our farmers are going to Stroe today" said Sander van Diepen, a spokesperson for agricultural organization LTO...