Potential effects of accumulating environmental policies on Dutch dairy farms

P.B.M. Berentsen, M. Tiessink

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22 Citations (Scopus)


Consequences for farm management, environment, and economics of environmental policies for Dutch dairy farms were examined through modeling with two policies applied successively to typical dairy farms. Both policies aim to decrease nutrient losses in the soil. The first policy, the Mineral Accounting System (MINAS), is a farm gate balance approach that was introduced in 1998. Acceptable surpluses and levies are gradually tightened in this system until final standards are used in 2003. The second policy was developed to comply with the European Union Nitrate Directive and is called the Manure Transfer Agreement System (MTAS). This system links production and use of animal manure. Farms that produce more manure than the amount that can be applied on their own land according to standards are obliged to have a contract with a farmer who is willing to apply the surplus of manure on his farm. This system will be first applied in 2002 and final standards will be used in 2003. Results of the MINAS policy show fine-tuning of protein feeding especially by replacing grass in summer rations by maize silage and low protein concentrate. Another general result of MINAS is decreased use of N-fertilizer on grassland. As a consequence, division of the area between maize silage and grassland is adjusted. Income drop ranges from (sic)1400 to 4800 (5 to 18%). Mineral Accounting System N surpluses drop by 45 to 113 kg/ha (23 to 37%). Adding WAS is an incentive or more grassland as grassland has a higher manure application standard. Particularly for intensive farms, WAS leads to high extra costs ((sic)2600). However, expected environmental improvement is negligible. Therefore, from an environmental point of view there is no logic in adding the MTAS.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1019-1028
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • p management
  • nitrogen
  • netherlands
  • system
  • losses
  • model
  • groundwater
  • agriculture
  • pollution
  • nitrate


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