Slight increase in nitrogen and phosphates in animal manure

11/04/2005 10:00

Provisional results for 2004 show a slight increase in the production of manure and minerals in the Netherlands. The increase was caused by the recovery of poultry stocks following the outbreak of fowl pest in 2003. In 2003 Dutch livestock produced 68 million tonnes of manure. This manure contained 373 million kg of nitrogen and 162 million kg of phosphates.

Phosphates in animal manure

Phosphates in animal manure

Fowl pest

The phosphate content of animal manure was just over 2 percent higher in 2004 than in 2003. The nitrogen content rose by 1 percent. The increase is the result of the recovery of the poultry stocks after the fowl pest outbreak in 2003. The outbreak of fowl pest and the destruction and subsequent quarantine period reduced the nitrogen emission by poultry from 61 million kg in 2002 to 44 million in 2003.

The agriculture survey for 2004 shows that poultry numbers have not recovered to their levels of before 2003. Before fowl pest broke out, there were more than 100 million chickens in the Netherlands. In 2004 there were 86 million.

Livestock in the Netherlands, 1986 = 100

Livestock in the Netherlands, 1986 = 100

The total amount of manure produced in 2003 came to 68 million tonnes. This is more than a quarter less than the top level production in the mid-eighties.

Nitrogen and phosphates in animal manure, 1986 =100

Nitrogen and phosphates in animal manure, 1986 =100

Back to the level of the late sixties

Seen over a longer period (1986-2003), the total amount of nitrogen in animal manure has been reduced by one third, to 373 million kilograms. The phosphate content fell by nearly 40 percent in the same period. The phosphate production through animal manure has thus fallen from 259 to 162 million kilograms, similar to the levels in the late sixties.

Cor van Bruggen