Manure production ceilings in terms of nitrogen and phosphate

For land application of animal manure, the Netherlands is bound by the annual limit of 170 kg nitrogen as stated in the EU’s Nitrates Directive. A limit of 230 kg per hectare applies to sandy and loessial soils in the provinces of Overijssel, Gelderland, Utrecht, Noord-Brabant and Limburg, provided at least 80 percent of the farmland is grassland area. For farmland in the rest of the Netherlands, this is 250 kg. The higher standard (derogation) applies only to manure from grazing livestock. A condition for derogation being granted is that the amount of phosphate in livestock manure should not exceed 172.9 million kg. For nitrogen, the maximum is 504.4 million kg. The ceilings are equivalent to production levels among the Dutch national herd from the year 2002. According to the European Commission, the pressure on the manure market in the Netherlands will become unjustifiably great if the production ceilings are exceeded due to the limited space that is available for placement of animal manure.