Is there a future for grassland on peat soils in the Netherlands?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperAcademic


The Dutch peat meadow area covers about 185 000 ha. To meet the needs for modern dairy farming, ditch water levels were lowered in the 1960s and 1970s by up to 60 cm below the soil surface in the western peat meadow areas and by up to 120 cm below surface in Friesland. This resulted in accelerated peat oxidation and an emission by the 220 000 ha peatlands in agricultural use of 4.2 Tg CO2 year–1. According to the Dutch Climate Agreement the annual CO2-emission must be reduced, with 1 Tg CO2-eq year–1 in 2030. To reduce CO2-emissions, groundwater levels in summer must be raised considerably. This can be done by land-use change to wetlands or paludiculture or maintaining grasslands with high groundwater levels by irrigation or infiltration via submerged drains or other techniques. In our contribution we will compare the GHG reductions of the wet systems versus grasslands with tightly managed high groundwater levels to show that grasslands may be the best option to reduce GHG emissions before 2050.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWhy grasslands?
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 30th General Meeting of the European Grassland Federation Leeuwarden, the Netherlands 9-13 June 2024
EditorsC.W. Klootwijk, M. Bruinenberg, M. Cougnon, N.J. Hoekstra, R. Ripoll-Bosch, S. Schelfhout, R.L.M. Schils, T. Vanden Nest, N. van Eekeren, W. Voskamp-Harkema, A. van den Pol-van Dasselaar
Place of PublicationLeiden
ISBN (Electronic)9789090384948
Publication statusPublished - 2024
Event30th General Meeting of the European Grassland Federation (EGF2024): Why grasslands? - Leeuwarden, Netherlands
Duration: 9 Jun 202413 Jun 2024

Publication series

NameGrassland Science in Europe


Conference30th General Meeting of the European Grassland Federation (EGF2024)


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