Friday 07 August 2020

Dutch dairy farms get bigger, with more cows producing more milk

The average number of cows at Dutch dairy farms has expanded to 97 in 2016 from 38 in 1980, the national statistics office CBS reported on Tuesday.

The CBS added that the 100 largest dairy farms had on average more than 500 cows. Milk production has shot up by nearly 37% since 2005, reaching a record 14.3 billion kilos in 2016.

The number of dairy farms fell by 49,300 to 18,000 between 1980 and 2016, leading to an increase in scale, the CBS said.

There are now 1.7 million dairy cows in the Netherlands, 600,000 fewer than in 1980.

Last month, the Netherland’s biggest dairy cooperative FrieslandCampina warned the Dutch dairy sector must adapt itself to maintain its position.

FrieslandCampina’s 13,500 farmer-members will have to undergo painful measures during the transition to the future, the co-op said. These include putting more cattle out to pasture, additional funds for innovation and a faster resolution of the ammonia problems.

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