This summer, Dutch farmers have been protesting at the nation’s parliament building and beyond in response to government proposals intended to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The ruling aims to cut emissions of pollutants, predominantly nitrogen oxide and ammonia, by 50% by 2030.

Farmers feel they are being unfairly targeted by the plan, which could force some to downsize their livestock herds or stop farming all together. A statement released by the government said, “The honest message . . . is that not all farmers can continue their business.”

Around 40,000 farmers, many driving tractors, participated in the protests. In some areas, they slowed or stopped traffic. Some blocked supermarkets and distribution centers, and others dumped hay bales on roadways and lit them on fire. In Friesland, police fired two shots at tractor-riding farmers trying to push based blockades to enter a highway during a protest. The shots hit a tractor, but no one was injured.

This article appeared in the August 2022 issue of Journal of Nutrient Management on page 5.

Not a subscriber? Click to get the print magazine.