February 1, 2023

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Farmers have to spread less manure in March: ‘miscalculation’

Farmers are required to spread less manure from March this year, instead of January 1, 2024. New, stricter rules for manure will be introduced earlier than Agriculture Minister Pete Adema had planned. He was forced to back down after being pressured hard by the European Commission. According to Adima, he made an “miscalculation”.

Last year it was agreed with Brussels to phase out the exclusion for Dutch farmers. For a long time they were allowed to spread more manure than their counterparts in other countries.

This exceptional situation, the so-called exception, lasts until 2026, but the European Commission wants to gradually remove it from this year. Adema announced at the beginning of December that it would set a transition year for some components. That transitional year has gone completely wrong at the European Commission.

Cultivators’ defense force from the devil
If what Adema announced on Friday becomes a reality, all hell will break loose and new measures will follow. This is expected by Marc van den Auver of Sint Hubert, head of the Farmers’ Defense Force. “I read angry reactions from farmers in our chat groups. It seems as if Agriculture Minister Pete Adema is against farming. Adema’s plans are vague, so we’ll just have to see what exactly he means,” Van den Oever said in the first reaction.

Bart Kemps of Agractie has yet to say anything about the proceedings. But he calls this decision by Adema “another new dent”. Kempes expects a “tough conversation” on Monday when his organization returns to the negotiating table with the minister. “Things must be resolved in the short term, otherwise there will be no chance of an agricultural agreement.”

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“absolutely absurd”
LTO understands that there was a misunderstanding, but cannot understand the European Commission’s decision. A spokesperson said: “This means the committee wants farmers to destroy food and crops. This is absolutely ridiculous under the letter of the law.” “It is difficult to estimate the amounts, but this is serious money. Millions of euros.”

Also read: Tougher rules: Brabant farmers may use less fertilizer from 2023