This paper presents the results of the Dutch monitoring program for agriculture in the clay regions for the period 1996–2000 and evaluates the monitoring strategy. A wide range of farms (25 to 85%) had a NO3-N concentration in tile drainwater higher than the EU standard of 11.3 mg/l. The low figure is related to wet winters; the high, to dry winters. Arable farms are more prone to NO3 leaching than dairy farms. On arable farms, about 25% of the N surplus leached to groundwater and tile drainwater, on dairy farms this was about 15%. N in tile drainwater has shown to be the best indicator for monitoring the effects of farming practice changes in the clay regions. The average NO3-N concentration in tile drainwater was 18.8 and 3.2 mg/l in borehole water on farms where both were monitored. It is known that N use has a relationship with NO3 in tile drainwater and not with NH4+ and organic N. The presented results indicate that crop rotation and precipitation strongly influence NO3 concentration in tile drainwater.