August milk deliveries in The Netherlands are down 1.65% year-on-year, the latest EU figures show.

The drop in deliveries can be attributed to the Dutch government’s phosphate reduction plan, which has seen Dutch dairy herd numbers drop 3% since June – a drop of almost 50,000 head.

August milk production totalled 1.18m tonnes. Overall, production for the first eight months of the year stands at 9.64m tonnes, down 0.85% on the same period last year.


The Netherlands has exceeded its EU phosphate limits for the last three years and was at risk of losing its derogation if drastic measures were not implemented.

In November 2016, the Dutch government brought in legislation to curb phosphorus output on Dutch farms in line with EU regulations.

The consequence was to offer farmers incentives to reduce their herd size.

In March of this year, the first tranche of a scheme under the legislation was introduced, which included a €300/cow slaughter premium.

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