The Dutch dairy herd is expected to decrease by 11% or 175,000 head in 2017 in order to bring phosphate production in line with EU regulations.

The phosphate limit in the Netherlands stands at 172.9m kg/year and Dutch farmers have exceeded this over the past three years. In 2015, the phosphate production was 7.2m kg over the limit and forecasts indicate that the excess in 2016 will be 6.6m kg.