Speaking to journalists on Friday this week the Dutch nature minister Christianne van der Wal and the Dutch Farm Minister Henk Staghouwer said drastic action was needed in large parts of the Netherlands to meet new EU environmental rules. They went as far as saying as some farms will have to close.

The outlined a new approach to the problem, which involves monitoring stocking rate and nitrogen emissions on a region by region basis. They said in some areas, nitrogen-based pollution must be cut by 12% by 2030, but in others, close to vulnerable habitats, much more drastic action is needed. In total, levels must be slashed by 70% in 131 key areas, said.

The 12 Dutch provinces have now been given just over a year to draw up detailed plans to meet the targets, looking at emissions by farming and industry, construction and traffic. More details will also be published in October.

Earlier this year the newly elected Dutch Government said the aim of the plan is to cut total nitrogen emissions by 50% by 2030. The new plan follows a Council of State ruling in May 2019 which said the government’s strategy for reducing excess nitrogen was in breach of EU directives on protecting vulnerable habitats.

Following the news on Friday Dutch farm organisations say they plan to step up their protests starting with a demonstration in The Hague on June 22.

UK fertiliser and milk

In the UK fertiliser prices have been coming down recently. That was until this week when CF Fertilisers closed its Cheshire plant. This would cue more uncertainty in the sector. UK milk supply is back 3% on peak week in 2022, the biggest it has been for the last five years.