Application standards vs Nitrogen Surplus in regulation in the EU

In the Netherlands, the MINAS system was used to fulfil the requirements in the Nitrate Directive. However, the progress was too slow and so this has changed to an input based N-application system as used in Denmark.

Germany seems now to be on the same route. This paper discusses the use of N-surplus vs N-input in regulation. The conclusion is that the problem is not so much the use of the balance method in itself, but more the regulatory setup. With tighter limits, fewer loopholes and more control the balance method can also reach the targets in the Nitrate Directive.