• An environmental and economic model to assess the abatement costs of nitrate leaching in dairy farming

      Groeneveld RA; Kruitwagen S; Ierland E van; LBG; LUW (Landbouw Universiteit Wageningenvakgroep StaathuishoudkundeWageningen, 1998-06-30)
      In this analysis of the economic impact of reductions in nitrate leaching on dairy farms in the Netherlands, a non-linear optimisation model was developed to describe the production and purchase of fodder (maize, grass and concentrates) and the resulting nitrate leakage for various grazing systems and groundwater classes. The analysis focused on the central eastern part of the Netherlands, where nitrate leakage is a serious problem. The model minimised economic costs, with constraints for production, feed requirements and mass balances for fodder, as well as for nitrate leaching (the maximum admissible rate is 34 kg N ha exp. -1yr exp. -1). Economic costs were shown to be attributable to the increased costs of fodder and processing of manure when nitrate restrictions are tightened. For some groundwater classes with shallow groundwater the costs shown were negligible. For areas with deep groundwater, it was in some cases difficult - if not impossible - to achieve maximum admissible nitrate leaching. Model results indicated a reduction in the financial balance of NLG 0 to NLG 549 per hectare.