There is great disappointment among farmers’ organizations after the nitrogen consultations. LTO, among others, spoke in Utrecht today with cabinet members, including Prime Minister Mark Rutte and with mediator Johan Remkes. The visitors of the rural festival Dicky Woodstock near Steenwijkerwold also react critically.

    “We can’t build on anything, we have no certainty. You can invest, but next year it will have to be different and then the money will be wasted,” says a farmer on the grounds of the three-day Dicky Woodstock festival. “I think you should start a conversation, but it will stop at some point. There must be progress.”

    The fact that Prime Minister Rutte has apologized for the cabinet’s ‘nitrogen card’ does not do much for the farmer in question. “I think it’s stupid that the card is colored differently every time. It’s just not credible.” Rutte acknowledges that the map, which states how much less nitrogen may be deposited per area, has led to “great confusion” and “misunderstandings” among farmers.

    Another festival-goer at Steenwijkerwold is also not very enthusiastic about the consultation between the cabinet and the farmers’ organisations. “What I have learned so far does not come out very much. If steps had been taken years ago, it would have been a completely different story. But now you suddenly have to change, bang-boom. now broken and it won’t come back.”

    She is clear about the future: “We will have to get something from the cabinet, and that has to continue for a long time. So no symbolic piece of meat and that we will starve for the rest of the time.”