July 11, 2022
I seldom read Politico, but on July 6, 2022, it ran a story that most American news outlets missed. The headline read Police fire on Dutch farmers protesting environmental rules.
I have been writing about how environmentalists are trying to take away our crop protection devices and pesticides. Now we have another worry. I refer you to the July 6 article where Politico claims, “Dutch police fired shots at tractor-riding farmers who were protesting against plans to cut nitrogen emissions on Tuesday evening, in northern Netherlands.”
Another headline from Bloomberg claims Dutch farmers bring cows to parliament to protest nitrogen cuts. The Bloomberg article states “The country’s goal to halve nitrogen output by 2030 will force some Dutch farmers out of business according to a government plan published earlier this month. Hundreds of farmers gathered in the Hague on Tuesday accompanied by 2 cows.”
According to the European Union, nitrogen pollution will have to be cut by 95%. To drive the point home, Dutch farmers on July 4 lined up in Eindhoven, Netherlands to protest the government's proposed nitrogen policy.
Again, I refer you to look at what has happened in over Sri Lanka. I heard on the news just this weekend that a second government has been thrown out in Sri Lanka. Silly Sri Lanka government decided the environment and conservation was more important than food. Guess who had the last laugh? Not the government.
What is wrong with our academic types? In February 2017, the Journal for Nature Conservation published an article titled The Integrated Approach to Nitrogen in the Netherlands: A preliminary review from a societal, scientific, judicial and practical perspective. This article in its abstract suggests that maintaining natural habitats is more important than food.
The reason I bring this up this summer is because we have been worrying about the loss of Roundup – but the Netherlands is looking at nitrogen. The Netherlands’ approach is based on the Journal for Nature Conservation study.
One publication claims that the “nitrogen crisis is caused by the Dutch government and the E.U. We all think that empty supermarket shelves are just a present and fixable problem.” Welcome to the Dutch government wanting to empty all of its supermarket shelves.
One Dutch farmer said “politicians having always been as stupid as they are now, nobody was thinking ahead and wondering, look, what might this mean in the future?” I assume he means birds are more important than food. In a 2019 debate over this topic, the Minister of Agriculture claimed, “The regulations must be stricter.”
What happens in the E.U. will come over to the United States. The farm organizations have to be prepared because our farmers will be accused of using an excess of nitrogen. I assume people of this country will believe that birds and habitats are more important than food.
I suggest that all of you who might read this blog might want to look at the February 2017 issue which talks about nitrogen in the Netherlands. Why is the Netherlands important to U.S. farmers? I am told by the Agricultural Counselor here in Washington, D.C. that the Netherlands exports a large amount of agricultural products to the United States.
I can only assume that the Dutch farmers do not want to use less fertilizer and reduce their animal products coming to the U.S. Since our news media is ignoring the tractor driving farmers in the Netherlands last week, I suggest all of you do your own research and find that the Netherlands is the world’s second largest exporter in Europe. We do not want the Dutch government’s plans to come to the U.S.
The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress.
About the Author(s)
Ag Lawyer/Blogger, Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Matz PC
Gary Baise is an Illinois farmer and trial attorney at the law firm Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Matz PC. He also serves as outside General Counsel for several national agriculture organizations, including Agricultural Retailers Association and National Sorghum Producers. Baise organized President Trump’s agricultural team of advisers. He was the first Chief of Staff to the first U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator. He owns a family farm in Jacksonville, Ill.
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