Opinion Jaap Major
Today 14:45 – Agricultural business
A group of scientists believes that nitrogen deposition should be tackled even more rigorously. It’s strange, these scientists talk about nitrogen, but don’t think about what’s really going on.
A lot of nature has been created to realize the character desired by the nature authorities. The desire is very poor nature, where a rare plant can settle down. A special plant for the Netherlands, because the Netherlands has naturally fertile, nitrogen-rich soil. After all, the rivers have been depositing their fertile silt on our soil for millions of years. In the past, land was impoverished by the farmers, because due to a lack of fertilizer, they sow and graze land. This is how our bogs were created. Because there is now manure, the farmers no longer do it, and the grass starts to grow again in the places where the heath is. In order to realize the desired nature, our nature managers have taken a very drastic approach. They have excavated the complete cultivation layer, which has arisen over millions of years, with the idea of realizing poor nature again. The consequences of this nature management are disastrous for all kinds of plants. By removing the cultivation layer, the soil has lost its fertility.
Grasslands are top performers in capturing CO2
Apart from nitrogen, all other minerals necessary for plant growth have been lost. The rare plant will hardly grow any more and the desired nature will not be realized. It is very easy to say: nitrogen is to blame for covering up poor management of nature reserves. If you want to save nature, drastic measures are needed. Like fertilizing with lime, gypsum or stone flour and rebuilding a cultivation layer. So nature can retain minerals again, and don’t forget water. I even read an article about nature managers spreading nitrogen in their nature reserves to see if they can achieve better nature that way. Nor do the scientists talk about global warming and water retention.
By far, our farmers’ lands store the most CO2 and water, much more than forests. The nature reserves created for the desired nature do not absorb CO2 and water at all. Grassland in particular is a top performer in capturing CO2 and water. If agricultural land is to be converted into nature or built-up, it will actually increase global warming and a loss of water. The government, surely that cannot be the intention? Do not be guided by the nature authorities, but first take a course – given by an impartial body that knows the business – so that you can make an informed decision. This also applies to members of the Riksdag. Take the abolition of the exception. The consequences are an increase in CO2 and loss of water, because farmers will convert their grasslands into maize land for optimal nutrition of their livestock.
Halving the livestock is a doubling of the food price
Don’t forget: our farmers harvest a cut of grass six times. In the other EU countries, farmers are happy with two to three mowings. Comparing these yields, the deviation is still more than normal. In order to continue to realize these yields, much more fertilizer will be needed, resulting in a significant increase in CO2. For example, food prices become even higher because of the additional costs. Agriculture Minister Henk Staghouwer had promised to publish a plan with a revenue model for farmers, who, according to Nitrogen Minister Christianne van der Wals, should soon start farming in an environmentally friendly way. Logically, he went. The only revenue model with a halving of livestock is more than a doubling of prices. How can the consumer still pay for this? Should half of the Dutch population report to the food bank? But how does the food bank still get food?
The Dutch farmer can actually be the solution to the CO2 problem by capturing water and nature. Let him burp as much as possible and stimulate him to get the organic matter in his soil as high as possible. Consult and pay him if he builds and manages nature on part of his land.
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