Farmers have to pay fifty million euro levies for surplus manure

More than ten thousand of farmers required to report the amount of manure produced on their farms exceeded the specified levy-free surplus in 2000. This is the equivalent of thirty percent of the total number of farmers obliged to report their manure inflow and outflow. Farmers reported that they had to pay nearly fifty million euro in levies for exceeding the prescribed standard for acceptable (i.e. levy-free) losses. On 7 March 2002, eighteen percent of this amount had been paid to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fishery.

Distribution of mineral levy by type of farm, 2000

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Pig and chicken farms

Pig and chicken farms in particular exceeded the levy-free surplus in 2000. They also had to pay most: a total of more than 33 million euro, or 4,500 euro per farm on average.

Farms exceeding levy-free surplus

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Pig farms had to pay about the same amount on average in each of the years 1998, 1999 and 2000. In spite of the doubling of phosphate levy rates in 2000, the levy payable per farm was hardly higher than in 1999, as the farms exceeded the levy-free surplus by forty percent less than in 1999.

Average levy per farm

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Dairy farms

On average one tenth of dairy farms, which use less intensive measures, exceeded the levy-free surplus. Between 1999 and 2000, the average surplus on these farms fell by the same amount as the reduction in the levy-free surplus. Dairy farms have to pay considerably lower amounts than pig and chicken farms: around 1,500 euro a year.

Martha van Eerdt