Netherlands - Economic impact of existing regulations on farms with pigs

The Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality commissioned research into the impact on the pig farmer of the necessity to comply with government measures relating to animal welfare (Pig Decree) and the environment (Ammoniac and Nitrate Directive) after the end of the transition period. Based on individual pig farms in the Farm Accountancy Data Network, it was investigated whether farms can finance the necessary investments and whether the farm will have any income after that investment. It was also investigated whether pig farms can use alternative forms of housing which require less extensive investments. The policy for which the transition period ends in 2013 has far-reaching consequences for the entire pig sector.
Thursday 8 April 2010 (8 years 1 months 13 days ago)
The Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality commissioned research into the impact on the pig farmer of the necessity to comply with government measures relating to animal welfare (Pig Decree) and the environment (Ammoniac and Nitrate Directive) after the end of the transition period. Based on individual pig farms in the Farm Accountancy Data Network, it was investigated whether farms can finance the necessary investments and whether the farm will have any income after that investment. It was also investigated whether pig farms can use alternative forms of housing which require less extensive investments. The policy for which the transition period ends in 2013 has far-reaching consequences for the entire pig sector.

The transition period was extended on a one-off basis until 2013. The CBS agricultural census of 2008 indicates that fewer than 10% of the farms have completed the socially desired investments. However, 60% of the sow farmers have already partially invested in group housing for sows and 23% of the farms with pigs have restricted ammoniac missions. The figures show that only few farmers have taken into consideration the living area norms relating to piglets and fattening pigs which will apply from 2013. Calculations show that around 34% of the pig farms have the potential to invest in all the government measures which will apply from 2013.

As a result of the current regulations, from 2013 welfare in pig farming will improve and the environmental impact of pig farming will significantly decline due to lower ammoniac emissions and lower burden of the manure market. However, this will be at the expense of the number of pig farms, partly due to acceleration of the autonomous restructuring process. Particularly where modifications are required, the investments required to expand the living area and replace slatted floors are relatively high. For many farms, the investments are difficult to finance due to the average low yield prices and income in recent years. This situation is not expected to improve much in the coming years. Furthermore, the pig farmers who can invest and continue their farming will have to accept a much lower income.

http://edepot.wur.nl/134934

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