Economic and environmental effects of the manure policy in The Netherlands: synthesis of integrated ex-post and ex-ante evaluation

H. Westhoek, R. van der Berg, D.W. de Hoop, A. van der Kamp

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    Abstract

    This paper summarises the results of both an ex-post evaluation of the Dutch Mineral Accounting System (MINAS) and an ex-ante evaluation of the effect of different levy-free surplus values. The MINAS system has been introduced in 1998 in order to reduce nitrate and phosphate leaching from agricultural soils. MINAS resulted in a reduction of the N surplus on dairy farms of approximately 50 kg ha-1 to limited or no costs to the farms involved. MINAS resulted in higher costs for manure removal for intensive livestock farmers. Though emissions of N and P have decreased significantly during the last five years effects of this reduction in environmental quality cannot be observed, except for a small decrease in nitrate concentration of the upper groundwater. The ex-ante evaluation of different variants for possible future levy-free surplus levels indicated that under the lowest variant, the nitrate concentration in groundwater will exceed 50 mg per litre on 14% of the area. The environmental effect of the different variants for P were not distinguished. The lowering of the levy-free surplus for P will have a drastic effect on the intensive livestock farms. The incorporation of fertiliser P under the MINAS system would be a cheap option to reduce the P surplus
    This paper summarises the results of both an ex-post evaluation of the Dutch Mineral Accounting System (MINAS) and an ex-ante evaluation of the effect of different levy-free surplus values. The MINAS system has been introduced in 1998 in order to reduce nitrate and phosphate leaching from agricultural soils. MINAS resulted in a reduction of the N surplus on dairy farms of approximately 50 kg ha(-1) to limited or no costs to the farms involved. MINAS resulted in higher costs for manure removal for intensive livestock farmers. Though emissions of N and P have decreased significantly during the last five years effects of this reduction in environmental quality cannot be observed, except for a small decrease in nitrate concentration of the upper groundwater. The ex.-ante evaluation of different variants for possible future levy-free surplus levels indicated that under the lowest variant, the nitrate concentration in groundwater will exceed 50 mg per litre on 14% of the I area. The environmental effect of the different variants for P were not distinguished. The lowering of the levy-free surplus for P will have a drastic effect on the intensive livestock farms. The incorporation of fertiliser P under the MINAS system would be a cheap option to reduce the P surplus.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)109-116
    JournalWater Science and Technology
    Volume49
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2004

    Keywords

    • animal manures
    • government policy
    • evaluation
    • legislation
    • nitrates
    • farm management
    • nitrogen
    • phosphorus
    • leaching
    • groundwater pollution
    • environmental protection
    • netherlands
    • nutrient accounting system
    • manure surpluses
    • community

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