Restrictions on use of fertilizers, pesticides, etc., and even replacement by bio-alternatives
Agriculture and horticulture are important for the products they produce and the employment these industries provide. They are also key sources of substances that can have a detrimental effect on water quality, especially fertilizers and plant protection products such as pesticides, insecticides and herbicides.
The Netherlands is a leader in technologies to tackle point sources of the nutrients nitrogen and phosphorus, especially for treating municipal wastewaters. These actions represent an important contribution to tackling these pollutants, but alone they are not sufficient to ensure the quality of water resources. This is why the Netherlands places restrictions on the use of fertilizers and pesticides.
In response to these restrictions, Dutch companies have developed expertise in areas such as the precision application of fertilizers. Fertilizers can be closely matched to the crop and the soil, and their delivery timed on the basis of soil moisture and rainfall predictions. The result is that the plant nutrients in fertilizers are delivered only where and when they are needed, ensuring that nearby water resources are protected.