October 28, 2020

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The manure system is tackled: Schouten simplifies politics

The manure system is tackled: Schouten simplifies politics


Photo: ANP

Manure policy is being launched to address regulatory burdens, fraud vulnerabilities and environmental pressures. From her point of view of the fertilizer system, Agriculture Minister Carola Schouten points out that, in her opinion, there are ultimately two ways of dealing with fertilizers. Farmers must distribute all of their manure on their own land or on a nearby farm, or take all of their manure to a manure processor.

Spreading manure on one’s own land is in line with Schouten’s plans for circular agriculture, in which used materials are reused and materials from an area are also brought back there. If a farmer cannot dispose of the manure on his own land, he can do so at a nearby arable or horticultural company. The companies can make mutual agreements on this.

Dairy and beef farmers will use their dung in this way in the future. Other ranchers, including pig and goat farmers, have the choice of distributing their manure on their own land, but they can also choose to process their manure. This should give fertilizer processors more clarity. For businesses in need of fertilizer, it is easier to buy fertilizer that they need for their specific soil and crop.

“When I took office as minister, I quickly realized that the fertilizer system is incredibly complicated. I want to change that, ”explains the minister.

The complicated system is not the only reason a new course is needed. The manure policy must also ensure an end to the manure surplus and an improvement in water quality “and thus also the nature that depends on it”. The minister can also intervene in areas where water quality continues to be poor. In extreme cases, the minister can even restrict the cultivation of certain crops, including corn, leeks and potatoes.