Dutch farmers facing pig waste problems
The Netherlands is faced with a growing excess of
manure from intensive farming, with the surplus due to reach 8% by 2015, Dutch
newspaper Trouw has reported.
Figures quoted from the agricultural economic
institute LEI, say tougher environmental rules mean farmers can spray even less
manure on their fields than they used to, while the quantity of manure being
produced is going up.
At the moment, farmers are allowed to spread 85 kg of
manure per hectare of land. But because farmland can only absorb 60 kg of waste,
that figure is being reduced.
Whilst waste from intensive chicken rearing is burned in
incinerators, pig slurry is 90% water, making disposal difficult. Factory
farmers pay arable farmers to take over their manure - currently paying €22 per
cubic metre. Cubic metre
A pig being raised for meat
will produce one cubic metre of manure in its lifetime. 'If you've got more than
20,000 pigs, it mounts up,' states one Dutch farmer. The government has
already introduced a ceiling on the number of pig farms in the Netherlands
because of the manure problem, it is reported.
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