Dutch govt to shut down up to 3000 farms, sparking more protests

Eric Barker, 06/12/2022

Dutch farmers are again taking to the streets to protest plans to shut down up to 3,000 farms. Photo: Twitter

THE Dutch Government has announced plans to buy out 2000 to 3000 farms in a bid to comply with controversial targets to reduce nitrogen run-off.

According to The Guardian, the country’s nitrogen minister Christianne van der Wal, said farmers would be offered more than 100 percent of the value of their farms – with plans to force buyouts next year if the voluntary measures fail.

The plans to halve the country’s nitrogen output by 2030 sparked mass protests earlier this year, with farmers blocking supermarket distribution centres with tractors and lighting silage bags on fire. Signs expressing solidarity with Dutch farmers were displayed across Europe.

Protests were followed by the resignation of the Dutch agriculture minister Henk Staghouwer, who took to Twitter to say he was not the man for implementing the nitrogen legislation.

The latest announcement has sparked more protests, with police reportedly using force to remove farmers from the streets.

Court ordered legislation

The plans to reduce fertilisers and livestock-related nitrogen run-off came after several court cases ruled the The Netherlands’ Government was not doing enough to address the “nitrogen crisis.” The Government replied with plans to reduce livestock numbers by 25pc and a series of other measures.

The Netherlands is one of the most intensively farmed parts of Europe, is one of the world’s largest exporters of dairy and a major exporter of beef.

Speaking to Beef Central earlier this year Scotland-based agricultural public relations specialist George Lyon said it was possible for courts to keep forcing the hands of government.

“Any individual citizen can ask for a judicial review of the government’s handling of anything and that is what happened in The Netherlands,” Mr Lyon said.

“There is a possibility of a country like Scotland adopting a legally binging target and a judicial review into their plans to meet the target being ordered. The courts will have to investigate it and when these targets are legally binding it is very hard to get out of any court ruling.”

Legislation tough on livestock

The nitrogen legislation in The Netherlands is one of many measures across Europe putting pressure on livestock producers. Including:

According to Mr Lyon, Europe was clearly trying to influence the rest of the world in its legislation. He described an “ideological battle” between the United States and Europe to influence the rest of the world on climate strategies.

“The US is saying they can reduce livestock emissions while producing more food and we’re going to do it through technology and innovation,” he said.

“While Europe is taking the clunky and legislative route, where they are banning certain activities and trying to prevent other countries from doing them.

“Both Europe and the US are seeking other countries to align and make deals with them.”








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  1. Alexx, 08/12/2022

    This is sad and it’s time for people to learn to start growing their own food. Even then the government will find a way to make that difficult. They’re not thinking of the outcome. So im not getting any answer, so they’re taking away food, how and where are they’re going to replace it?

    • Josh, 14/01/2023

      They do already Alexx. For example growing citrus in USA is basically outlawed unless you have grafted your chosen citrus to a particular rootstock. It is under the apparent reasoning that the natural roots of citrus plants are susceptible to a particular disease.

  2. jessie, 08/12/2022

    US President Thomas Jefferson once stated cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens they are the most vigorous the most Independent. And the most wedded to its liberty and interests by the most, lasting bonds… Its honor them 8 reasons to be grateful for farmers and keep scrolling for the full glory to feed, produces enough to feed…processed…produce steer Economy Agriculture-related industries contribute Employ.. workforce, farm.. emissions and captured . Improving the health of their soils. Farmer growers Earth Producing Corn, Soybean, wheat, cotton either No-Til Farming or Strip Every Year. Their families wear many different hats. teachers hard worker, Farmers sharp and smart,clever with ideas. Manure natural substance, Humus, Organic fertilizer often low. Leguminous plants consist of nitrogen fixing bacteria such rhizobium. Don’t Strip them of their farmland……You people need Work with the farmer they know whats best in the field. These EU have they every work.. in the field and talk to the farmer.?? Beside given Orders…This would be amazing not to put Terror in beautiful families they provided for earth. God Bless the Farmers…. people beside your strengths and courage, Knowledge..
    Thank, You

  3. Mike Introvigne, 06/12/2022

    In twenty years time the world will be asking itself what the hell did we do with a single-minded focus on climate change and its perceived associated catastrophic predictions. We are currently in a one-sided debate where any other opinion is not tolerated, and this is leading to some dramatic decisions that will undoubtably impact world food supply. We need to take an approach that carefully manages the impact of the climate with what the outcome of such decisions will have on the human race. If you think the catastrophic forecasts will lead us to doomsday without action, then think about the catastrophic outcomes of hunger due to severe food shortages.

    • Ness Bambling, 09/12/2022

      Mike, You have summed this whole situation perfectly! So very well said. How easily they forget … Europe was starving in WW2. It is just ludicrous 😪

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