6 October 1995

Dutch manure tax

DUTCH farmers face heavy taxes on manure spreading. Concern over the amount of phosphate getting into water has led the government in Holland to consider strict limits for adding P to soils, according to researcher Piebe Hotsma.

Above certain levels, still the subject of debate, there will be "stepped" penalties, he told last weeks International Workshop on "Phosphorus Loss to Water from Agriculture", in Ireland. The precise split between inorganic and organic P allowable by way of manure dressings is still unclear.

"There already is a small levy on farmers using more than 110kg/ha of P2O5," he said. In future many more growers will be caught by the restriction proposals. "The government wants it set at 20kg – farmers want 50kg." &#42