Higher surpluses in 2020, but declining trends over the entire measurement period
In the derogation monitoring network of the Minerals Policy Monitoring Programme (LMM), Wageningen Economic Research and the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) annually monitor the water quality and agricultural practices of farms 'registered for derogation'. The derogation monitoring network is a result of the derogation from the Nitrates Directive that the Netherlands has had since 2006. Under this derogation, farms with at least 80% grass in the cropping plan may, under certain conditions, use more nitrogen from grazing livestock manure than the 170 kg nitrogen per hectare prescribed by the European Nitrates Directive as a maximum. On 7 July 2022, the report 'Agricultural practice and water quality on farms registered for derogation in 2020' was presented to the House of Representatives by Minister Staghouwer of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, making the results publicly available. The results show that the average nitrogen fertilisation from animal manure on farms in the derogation monitoring network in the period 2006 to 2020 varied from 228 to 246 kg/ha. In 2020, nitrogen fertilisation from animal manure was in the middle of this range with 236 kg/ha. The nitrogen soil surplus has increased in 2020 to an average of 171 kg/ha compared to 158 kg/ha in 2019. The phosphate soil surplus also increased in 2020 and came to an average of 8 kg/ha. Over the entire measurement period, both the nitrogen and phosphate soil surpluses show a downward trend.
At the Agrimatie website, these new results of the agricultural practice of companies in the derogation monitoring network have been processed in the following 7 articles:
1. Milk production (per farm, per hectare forage crop and per cow)
2. Nitrogen fertilisation
3. Phosphate fertilisation
4. Crop yields (for both grassland and silage maize)
5. Nitrogen operating surplus
6. Nitrogen soil surplus
7. Phosphate soil surplus
Composition and regions
The derogation monitoring network consists of 300 farms, of which approximately 87% are dairy farms and approximately 13% are 'other grassland farms'. The results are presented for the group of farms as a whole, but also per region. Five regions are distinguished: Sand-230, Sand-250, Clay, Peat and Loess. Legislation stipulates that a maximum of 230 kg nitrogen from grazing livestock manure per hectare may be used on sandy and loess soil in the provinces of Overijssel, Gelderland, Utrecht, Noord-Brabant and Limburg. On other soil types and on soil located outside these 5 provinces, a maximum of 250 kg nitrogen per hectare may be used. Within LMM, the Sand region contains 230 companies located in the Sand region in the aforementioned five provinces. The Sand-250 region concerns the farms in the rest of the Sand region, where up to a maximum of 250 kg nitrogen per hectare from grazing livestock manure may also be used on sand.
Results from the derogation monitoring network on agricultural practice are available for the period 2006 to 2020. The data for 2020 were obtained in the year 2021 by collecting all farm economic and (environmental) technical data for the year 2020. This was ready by September 2021. Subsequently, all data per farm were processed, checked and approved for research. Based on the approved data, the indicators were calculated, analyses performed and the results described in the first half of 2022.