Richer for dung

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(First Edition)

AMSTERDAM (Reuter) - Dutch pig farmers are marrying not just for better or for worse but for manure. Legal limits on how much manure their livestock can produce have forced pig breeders to marry to boost their farms' dung quotas, a farmers' union said.

A spokesman for the North Brabant Christian Farmers' Union (NCB) said that more than 200 Dutch farmers had married to raise their dung quotas since 1987. Young farmers either take over dung allowances that farmers' daughters have inherited early, or persuade their fiancees to buy up dung rights from other farmers. They then take over the dung quota when they marry. There are more pigs than people in the Netherlands, which excrete more dung than the soil can absorb.

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