Much less nitrogen in manure

10/06/2002 10:00

In 2000 the production of nitrogen in animal manure fell by 30 million kg to 415 million kg. This fall of nearly seven percent compared with 1999 is the largest since nitrogen production began to diminish in 1993. Provisional figures for 2001 show that the nitrogen content of manure has decreased further.

Mineral production by livestock

Strongest decrease in the south

The fall is largest in the southern provinces: Limburg (nine percent) and Noord- Brabant (eight percent). Within Noord-Brabant the fall was largest in the west of the province and the Kempen region (ten percent). In the western Peel, the area with the highest production per hectare, the nitrogen content of manure decreased by six percent.

Nitrogen reduction caused by foot-and-mouth outbreak, 2001

Foot-and-mouth: little effect on manure production

The foot-and-mouth crisis in 2001 had little effect on the amount of manure produced in the country as a whole. Provisional figures show that nitrogen production by Dutch livestock was four million kg lower than in 2000. About 1.4 million kg of this was caused by the foot-and-mouth outbreak.

In the area hit worst by foot-and-mouth disease, the eastern part of the Veluwe, nitrogen production was ten percent down as a consequence of the disease. Seventeen of the 26 established cases of foot-and-mouth were in this area.

Fewer pigs and less nitrogen in pig feed

Dutch pigs, chickens and cattle produced some 75 million tons of manure in 2000. This is more than twenty percent less than in 1986, the year the relevant legislation on manure came into effect.

There was a noticeable fall in the nitrogen content of pig manure in 2000: ten percent less than in the previous year. The reduction in the number of pigs accounted for forty percent of this decrease, the reduction of the amount of nitrogen in pig feed accounted for the other sixty percent. This is the largest reduction in the nitrogen content of pig feed ever. The phosphate content has been falling since the early eighties.

Martha van Eerdt