NPR - HOW CAN REGULATION PROMOTE EFFICIENT NUTRIENT USE IN EU?
The purpose of the INEMAD project is to look at management strategies to improve the utilisation of nutrients in agriculture in Europe. This paper looks closer at the nutrient policies in selected EU
countries in order to find policies, which has shown to improve nutrient efficiency. High livestock intensity is found in the Flemish region in Belgium, many parts of The Netherlands and parts of France (Britany). The challenges are to combine the interest in high livestock production without having to high environmental impacts. The high livestock intensity has led to higher transport and/or processing costs (Belgium and The Netherlands). The additional costs for West-Flemish farmers can be 10-20 € per ton of excess slurry, which is much higher than the costs required in e.g. Denmark (2-5 € per ton). One would have expected that the high costs would have reduced the livestock density over time in the selected regions, but this has not happened. On the other hand, these regions still struggle to meet the environmental targets as the effect of the regulation takes longer than expected. The policies have been tightened over the years, but it has been difficult to implement measures which are sufficient efficient. Another approach chosen by Denmark has been to use less than economic optimal norms and to require balance between livestock production and area for application of manure. This has been successful in term of environmental impact but has also been rather costly for the farmers. The findings suggest that direct livestock production quotas and voluntary systems have been less efficient.
Keywords: Regulation, livestock intensity, control, environmental impact