Dutch dairy dilemma – how dairy farmers in the Netherlands to cope with the new rules of phosphates

  • Dutch dairy dilemma – how dairy farmers in the Netherlands to cope with the new rules of phosphates
    FarmIreland.t. E.
    The phosphates of the rules in the Netherlands cause huge problems for about 800 farmers, who are faced with a harsh decision whether to invest in more rights phosphates or really to sell.

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The phosphates of the rules in the Netherlands cause huge problems for about 800 farmers, who are faced with a harsh decision whether to invest in more rights phosphates or really to sell.

Jorrit horizontally (31) is the one who needs to make such an important decision in the next few months, otherwise he will be forced again to reduce his herd, and terrible banks is coming for its loans that exceed EUR 1.5 million.

In 2008, Jorrit (pictured) took over the dairy farm his uncle in Longerhouw in the province of Friesland, after an accident claimed the life of his uncle.

At that time the farm had 30 cows delivered with 300,000 kg of milk quotas, but Jorrit was determined to expand her business and a few years later he got the chance.

After the abolition of the quota system the EU milk in 2015, Jorrit decided to expand the herd, taking a loan of over 1 million euros to build a new shed and to install four Lely A4 robotic milking machines.

Today, Jorrit and his wife Fredericka (29) milk 160 cows on the farm, which extends to 47 hectares of land and run them with 65 calves on another farm that raises them.

However, with current levels of productivity of phosphates, Jorrit has 50 cows too much, to satisfy his quota, so the dilemma of “young farmer”.

“When my uncle died, my goal was to grow slowly and increase the herd to 200 cows,” said Jorrit. “That was my goal. However, with the latest rules of phosphate crushed my dreams, as I now find it impossible to extend, but in reality, I have to sell only when I really mean it.

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“The Dutch dairy industry produced too many phosphates, as milk quotas ended, so to reduce these levels allocated by the state the rights of phosphate for each farmer based on their 2015 the size of the herd.

“At that time I was beginning to expand, and was allocated 5000 kg of the rights of the phosphate, which was sufficient for 110 cows.

“As it stands, a cow produces about 45 kg of phosphates per year, so in fact I have 9000 kg of phosphate rights to 200 cows.

“However, at the moment I have 160 cows, which requires the rights of the phosphates of 7,200 kg, so I do have 50 cows, too many in the barn.

“With trading rights of the phosphate Of €220 per kilogram I still need to invest half a million euros-in rights, the phosphate just stand there with the current numbers, but I can’t afford to do that.”

Jorrit gets 35C per litre for milk and estimates the cost of 33C per litre. He and his wife work outside the farm to try to increase revenues in order to make the farm viable.

“I work outside the farm as a consultant making €25,000 a year, and my wife also works. We receive €160 per hectare from the EU in subsidies, which is around €8,000 per year. I employ two part-time workers, which costs me a total of €40,000 a year.

“I have acquired Bank loans EUR 1 million to build a barn, which must be returned within five years, plus I took out a loan for another half a million euros to buy the farm with the family of my uncle.

“My feed costs are about 1200 euros per cow per year, so that when I add and get 25 000 Euro for my salary, I would be about €300 left to pay the bills, which is impossible. What do I do?” he said.

His wife sat down to consider the options open to them, but none of them is not the easy way.


“On the one hand, I need to invest in more phosphates rights,” said Jorrit”, but there is no guarantee that my investments will require long-term, even if I could afford it.

“I can reduce the number of cows, but then I wanted to be in a position where I could not repay my loans with a smaller herd.

“Another option is to sell the dairy herd and go in sheep or goats, or even rent a farm for beef for several years.

“Or I could just sell it to repay the loan and to withdraw and to rely on the income from my job and my wife.

“However, this farm has been in the family for generations, and it would be sad to see it go. On the other hand, who has the money to buy a farm and stock?

“We have a huge problem here in the Netherlands, and he’s not going anywhere in the near future,” he added.


Young farmers are the biggest losers from the quota system phosphate

Dutch farmers have taken in the past year, 100,000 cows in order to bring the numbers down to meet the quota of phosphate.

The initial goal was 160,000 cows, but farmers exported calves and heifers sold to bring the total amount to 100 000. This year, farmers can cull to satisfy their own rights phosphates.

While critics say the current quota limit phosphates ” is entirely the fault of the Dutch farmers, as they were the ones who agreed to them in the first place, that does not help these new-entrant young farmers, who face possible closure because of this.

When milk quotas ended, the Dutch dairy farmers immediately began to pump out more milk from his herd of cows who in turn produce more phosphates.

The government made a deal to stop the overproduction of phosphate in 2015. This agreement was made in order for the Dutch farmers to keep their retreat that allows them to use 250 kg of nitrogen per hectare instead of the usual 170 kg per hectare.

On January 1 of this year, the government of the Netherlands had provided each dairy the rights of the phosphate farm based on the number of livestock of each individual farm is on 2 July 2015 – the date on which the system was announced, after deduction of previously reported generic abbreviations 8.3 PC.


Land farm with lots of land, depending on the number of cattle they were exempt from this reduction, which was deemed necessary to keep the production of phosphate below the European maximum.

Phosphate rights can be sold, means that farmers wishing to keep more cattle will have to buy these rights from farmers, reducing their population or termination of their dairy business.

Rights system phosphate the following scheme of reduction of phosphate, which is seen as trade associations and the Dutch government will agree to reduce the volume of phosphate mining in 2017.

A significant reduction of livestock numbers has already been achieved in the past year through this plan.

According to the latest data, from October 2017, indicate that the Netherlands were on course to decline the production of phosphate below the ceiling by the end of 2017.

According to the latest figures from 2017, there’s 17,500 dairy farmers in the Netherlands 1.63 million milking cows, producing around 14 billion litres of milk a year.

Milk production in the past year, an average of 8,706 kg of milk per cow butterfat in 4.36 and 3.57 PC PC protein.

In General, the Dutch dairy uses 864,000 ha in the country, with each farm on average slightly less than 50 hectares each.

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