Keywords: Dairy farming, Netherlands, Nutrients, Nitrogen, Nitrate, Management, Nitrate Directive.
To be sustainable, livestock production systems not only have to meet environmental objectives, as described in EU directives, but they also have to provide adequate income to the farmer. A dairy farming system is complex with regard to nutrient flows. Results of an experimental farm and pilot farms show that even on farms with a high milk production per hectare, and related high applications of manure, nutrient flows can be managed in a way that environmental quality can be guaranteed. Improved nutrient management should be based on farm-specific conditions. It is the most cost effective way to reduce nutrient losses, but only if farmers are skilful. The Dutch government stimulates such farm specific nutrient management by adjusting legislation and education.
dr H.F.M. Aarts, Plant Research International, Wageningen University and Research Centre, P.O. Box 16, NL-6700 AA Wageningen, the Netherlands.
27 Pages, 6 Figures, 12 Tables, 18 References.