RHEINHESSEN – The fertilizer regulation is through. The Federal Council decision causes disappointment and anger in Rheinhessen agriculture. “It shows a good deal of arrogance to box through such a controversial decision in our current situation,” complains President Ingo Steitz. “If a train like this rolls, you can’t stop it,” shakes Jan Ruzycki of the grassroots movement “Land creates connection”. Adolf Dahlem, a specialist in crop production at the Chamber of Agriculture and a farmers ‘and winegrowers’ association, speaks of “gross technical mistakes”.
“I’m afraid that a lot of things will no longer be able to be grown in our region,” says Dahlem. Wheat would disappear from the crop rotation, potatoes and sugar beets would be endange brewing barley would be difficult. Legislators want to protect the groundwater from excessive nitrate entry with the tightened regulations for fertilizer application. Agriculture complains that the regulation is far too general and that many producers who are not at fault are subject to conditions.
The new regulation also came under pressure from the EU, which had threatened to pay fines. Dahlem speaks of “pure actionism and populism”. “The fact that there is now a general requirement to apply 20 percent less fertilizer also means that there has been too much fertilization up to now,” says Steitz, “but that is an absolute fallacy.” The Badenheimer criticizes that it is an interference in the property of the farmers. “Companies now have to either grow, save, or make money elsewhere. The pressure on family farms will increase and the dependency on seasonal workers will increase further. But that doesn’t seem to matter at the moment. ”
“The industry is ready to support sensible regulations,” emphasizes Ruzycki, “but the issue of nitrate is so obviously based on wrong measurement methods that it can make you crazy if laws are created in this way.” yes, a welcome goal to conserve groundwater can be tackled with a large-scale field study. Hahnheimer sees the announced, more precise internal differentiation of the “areas”, which are considered be particularly burdened: “That would have to be broken open much more precisely.” Dahlem would like to speak of “restrained hope” at best.
Steitz agrees: “We still have no knowledge that the necessary improvements will be made.” The basic problem that the mechanisms of nitrate entry into the groundwater would be completely wrong, remains unsolved, emphasizes the Badenheimer. “The fertilizer ordinance has a birth defect,” says Dahlem, “and we complained about it three years ago.” The fact that neither technical advice nor the extensive farmers’ protests have had any effect causes frustration in the industry. “We are somewhat outraged at how to deal with our objections,” emphasizes the Gundersheimer, “We are all, without exception, taken into custody.”
Dahlem’s criticism, with a view to the producers in Rheinhessen: “We are not the cause of our fertilization. And if we are not guilty, how should we make an improvement? Science clearly tells politics that it is on the wrong path. Nevertheless, it is decided. There are regions where too much is fertilized, and something has to happen.
But in our arid area with viticulture and extensive crops, I am at a loss as to how we should deal with the requirements. ”If the fertilization is ced as prescribed, this will be noticeable on the market from next year. “We have to fear significant economic restrictions. We are now playing Russian roulette. ”It is becoming particularly clear how important home-made food is.