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New analysis from Wageningen University and Research published this month, found that achieving the EU’s Green Deal 2030 targets will mean a reduction of EU livestock production of 10-15% and a potential average cut of 32% to dairy farm income.

Researchers from Wageningen presented the results of two studies they have undertaken,  one focusing on the impact on crops, the other on livestock production, to the European Parliament Agriculture Committee on the 25 January.

The livestock study focused on 5 different animal sectors, including dairy and made an assessment of potential impacts on farm income using calculation tool based on FADN-data and 13 case study farms, chosen to reflect the diversity of EU production systems and soil conditions. 

Overall, the impact on net farm income showed a large variation between cases across the sectors, however dairy farm cases on average faced the greatest losses of the 5 sectors, at 32%.  This impact greatly varied even within the sector between different regions, with more intensive countries with environmental hotspots such as the Netherlands facing strongly negative impacts compared to lower intensity countries such as Poland.

Source: Wageningen University and Research

The analysis highlighted that Farm to Fork target of reducing nutrient losses by 50% and fertiliser use by 20% will likely be the chief constraining factor for future livestock production and predicts a resulting reduction in production in the order of 10-15%.

However, the researchers stress that an analysis of the market impacts, was missing from their assessment as they are still uncertain, but would be very important in determining the impacts on farm net income.

Alison Graham – European Affairs Executive