Manure production ceiling

The Netherlands must adhere to the ceiling imposed on livestock manure production as part of the Nitrates Directive. The ceiling is is 170 kg of nitrogen per hectare. The Netherlands may deviate from this ceiling under certain conditions (derogation). Provided the area of a holding consists of at least 80 percent grassland, a higher ceiling applies, depending on soil type and province. The higher ceiling applies only to manure from grazing livestock.

One condition for derogation is that phosphate excretion of Dutch livestock manure must not exceed 150.7 million kg as of 1 January 2022. The maximum level for nitrogen excretion is set at 489.4 million kg. The European Commission Implementing Decision of 30 September 2022 on granting a derogation set the ceilings of maximum manure production as equivalent to production by the Dutch national herd in the year 2020.

As of 2023, the derogation is being phased out, and from 2026 there will be no more derogation for the Netherlands. In 2025, the production ceilings will be reduced to 440 million kg of nitrogen and 135 million kg of phosphate. To remain below future ceilings, nitrogen production as calculated for 2022 must fall by 6 percent and phosphate production by 11 percent.