In 2007, 95 percent of dairy and pig farms in the Netherlands had provisions to store semi-liquid manure for six months or longer. They thus meet the requirements of the official regulation for the storage capacity of animal manure (1 July 2005). Farms with a smaller capacity can meet the requirements of the regulation by removing animal manure in the winter months, or keeping their livestock outdoors for a longer period.
Storage capacity for animal manure
Farms expanded storage capacity before 2005
Dairy and pig farms were already expanding their capacity to store animal manure long before 2005. In 2007, nearly 60 percent of pig farms had a storage capacity of 10 months or longer. In 1993 this was less than one third of farms. The larger capacity provides more flexibility for farms to choose the moment they want to remove manure or spread it on their land. They can thus make optimal use of the manure, by storing it for a longer period if the weather is not suitable to spread it on the land, or if transport bans are in force because of livestock disease.
Storage volume per farm doubled
The volume of manure that can be stored at a pig or dairy farm has doubled since 1993. The average volume of storage capacity at dairy farms rose from 800 m3 in 1993 to 1,550 m3 in 2007. At pig farms it rose from just over 1,000 m3 to 1 900 m3 per farm. The number of livestock per farm has also risen in recent years. Animals are also kept indoors for longer. This results in more manure, which also has to be stored for a longer period.
Volume of manure storage capacity per farm
Kees Olsthoorn and Cor van Bruggen