Fiery Dutch Farmer Protests

Aug 5, 2022

Farmers in the Netherlands aren’t happy.

But some believe that producer unrest could end up extending farther than the sling radius of a Dutch manure spreader.

Refresher: As noted in Tuesday’s Quick Hits section, Dutch farmers are protesting proposed climate change mitigation strategies by dumping manure and hay on highways and then setting it ablaze.

The issue? The government’s plan to cut nitrous oxide and ammonia emissions by 50% by 2030… and the target is on farmers.

Don’t think pastoral scenes of wooden shoes traipsing through tulip fields. These folks are the second-largest ag exporters in the world (behind only the U.S.).

Opponents claim that the plans unfairly target farmers, and some estimate the new strategies could put 30%+ of Dutch farmers out of business.

But the problem doesn’t end in Holland…

In Ireland, new laws are being proposed that would allow the government to hinder farmers from purchasing and using fertilizers, requiring them to register before applying them.

Across the pond: Over here, Canada is proposing a 30% cut in nitrogen emissions by 2030.

PM Justin Trudeau’s plans include many strategies that Canadian farmers are already using. But according to a Fertilizer Canada analysis, grain production will face significant shrinkage when meeting this demand.

In the U.S., Senate deadlock has prevented action on most climate change policies, but according to Illinois farmer Sherman Newlin, the possibility of a presidential climate emergency declaration is more of an eventual certainty:

“Once that happens, I don’t know what it will mean for ag, or what it’s going to open up the door to.”