The Dutch farming industry is fighting to save its nitrate derogation after it exceeded phosphate threshold in 2015 and expectations are it will exceed again in 2016 and 2017. Last week in the Netherlands an emergency meeting of all industry stakeholders met to agree specific guidelines that effectively cap the number of livestock in the country. The consequences are some Dutch dairy farmers will have to reduce cow numbers in 2017.

There are a number of issues ongoing in Holland at the moment that will have significant consequences for other EU countries and dairy markets into next year and beyond. The long term issue is that when you combine the phosphate produced from dairy cows, pigs, chicken and other livestock, the Dutch have exceeded a national phosphate quota set in 2006 based on 2002 production. It wasn’t until cow numbers started to increase that it has been exceeded.