Environmental quality and nutrient surplus : Background report on the environmental quality of the Evaluation of the Fertilizers Act 2007
Milieukwaliteit en nutrientenbelasting : Achtergrondrapport milieukwaliteit van de Evaluatie Meststoffenwet 2007
26 May 2012, PDF |
81 pages |
Klijne A de , Hooijboer AEJ , Bakker DJ , Schoumans OF , Ham A van den
RIVM Report 680130001
The manure policy has led to a reduction in the surplus amounts of nitrogen and phosphate on farms in the Netherlands occurring up to 2001. Surplus amounts have stabilised since 2001. The quality of the soil has either remained the same or has deteriorated. The quality of groundwater improved up to 2002 and has remained roughly the same since then. The quality of surface water has improved although it is not clear what has caused this improvement to occur after 2001. A surplus arises when more nitrogen and phosphate based fertilizers are used than is necessary for crop cultivation. This puts a strain on the environment. The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) has investigated the effects of these surpluses on the quality of the soil, ground and surface water on and in the direct vicinity of farms. The current manure policy still results in surplus levels of phosphate in the soil. This has led to further increases in the phosphate saturation rate on farmland. Currently, more than 56 percent of farmland areas are saturated with phosphate. The European standard for nitrate levels in groundwater on farms is not always achieved. In clay and peat areas, the average nitrate concentration is lower than the European standard. In sandy and loessy soil areas, the average concentration exceeds this standard. The concentrations of nitrogen and phosphate in surface water remain on the decrease, although this decrease is less than it has been in previous years. More than half of the locations (57 percent) in regional waters do meet the standard (maximum permissible risk) for phosphate levels. For nitrogen levels, approximately 34 percent of the locations meet this standard.