Here at Modern Farmer HQ, we love our obstinate farmers, but this one might take the diaper cake. Johann Huber, a German dairy farmer based in the Alps, has taken to nappying his bovine charges to protest EU legislation banning fertilizer use on steep slopes.
It might shock you to learn that there is not, in fact, a bovine-sized diaper currently in circulation.
The intent of the law is sound: prevent nitrate pollution in the groundwater. Nor is it new — the sucker’s been on the books for 23 years. But the European Commision recently began cracking down on Germany for failing to abide by the rule. Farmers who don’t fall into line could lose their EU subsidies, amounting to thousands of euros a year, and those located in southern Germany are especially vulnerable, as most of the farmland is indeed quite hilly. Thus the Bavarian brouhaha.
“In Bavaria no fertilization would be possible on half the cultivated land, and restrictions would be needed on cows grazing in Alpine pastures,” Anton Kreitmair, farmers’ association president in Upper Bavaria, told the Daily Mail. “We demand the ban is stopped in Germany.”
Let’s get to the actual diapers already. It might shock you to learn that there is not, in fact, a bovine-sized diaper currently in circulation. “We have no standard nappies, they have not been developed commercially yet,” Huber told the Telegraph. (Again: we applaud you, sir.) So he came up with a clever workaround, fashioning huge Huggies out of a bed sheet and some pink ribbons (maybe disposable diapers are fancier over there?) to deck out his eighteen mooers. Video evidence suggests that diapering a cow is a two-person job, and also that the cows are totally not into it. Huber, however, insists that favorite cow Doris was nonplussed. That’s Doris in the diaper at top, looking pretty plussed.