In this week’s dairy focus, we will be holding a demeanour inside some of a Dutch dairy farms AgriLand had a payoff of visiting while on a outing to a Netherlands with a dutch company, AHV International.
The following dairy farms would be standard examples of many traditional, family-run dairy farms in a Netherlands; all of that are especially high-input, high-output dairy farms with a outrageous concentration on nutrition, animal gratification and performance.
The initial plantation we visited was plantation Lubberson, run by Wim Lubbersen and his dual twin sons, Kevin and Twan. Passed down by generations, Kevin and his hermit Twan are a third era to plantation a family plantation after their grandfather purchased it behind in 1965.
The plantation itself is located in Holten – that is in easterly Holland – and consists of 100ha, of that 70ha is weed and 29ha is maize.
Currently milking on a plantation is a flock of 190 pedigree-Holstein cows that are milked by 3 Lely Astronaut A3 robots – that were commissioned on a plantation 11 years ago.
Commenting on a opening of a herd, Kevin said: “At a impulse a cows are visiting a robots 2.9 times a day. Last year, we sent over dual million litres or 10,500L/cow during 4.45% fat and 3.65% protein; this equates to 875kg of MS/cow.”
The family supply their divert to FrieslandCampina and, during present, they are achieving a bottom divert cost of 35c/L.
Like many Dutch farms, a Lubberson plantation operates a year-round calving complement with all longhorn calves going to a veal marketplace and any additional heifer calves sold.
We get approximately €100 for a longhorn calves. We used to get more, though given all a calves started entrance from Ireland a cost has fallen.
The family have also recently commissioned a Lely Vector feeding system. They described it as “a unchanging feeding slight for a cows”, that they feel has had a certain change on divert production.
Furthermore, like a lot dairy farms in a Netherlands, a cows are fully-housed all-year round. This, they say, is especially due to a peaty dirt type, though also since they feel like they have a improved control over their herd’s diet while they are indoors.
“On normal we take 6 cuts of silage each year. We reap a silage ourselves, though any other machine work is finished by a contractor. This includes injecting a slurry and swelling a farmyard manure,” explained Kevin.
The housing comforts include: a normal ‘free case barn’; a lax wood-chipped shed; and a calf rearing shed. The categorical strew contains fans that are switched on once temperatures strech over 20º along with deep-bedded cubicles or ‘stalls’.
The ‘free case barn’ is especially used to residence a younger cows while a wood-chipped stable is used to residence any older, sore or creatively calved cows.
Answering a doubt ‘would we boost cow numbers anymore’, Kevin said: “No, we can’t really, since after divert quotas were abolished a new phosphate share was introduced by a Dutch government. So, we have to compensate €8,000 for phosphate rights to divert each one additional cow.”
Farm De Kandelaar
The second farm, plantation De Kandelaar, had a really engaging past. In 1957, a plantation and a surrounding land were reclaimed from a sea, formulating a 12th and final range of Holland, famous as Flevoland – which is now home to some of a best land in a world.
De Kandelaar was also formerly an rural initial farm, though in a year 2000 Joris Van Kempen substituted his farm, with a afterwards government’s plantation and changed to Flevoland.
The plantation is now assigned by Joris, his sister Mariska and her father Marc – who are all concerned in a using of a farm, as good as their on-farm bed and breakfast (BB).
The plantation consists of 110 cows and 75 immature batch who, like plantation Lubberson, are fully-housed all-year round. The housing comforts include: a giveaway case barn; a slatted strew for immature stock; and some calf housing facilities.
Like a prior farm, they work a year-round calving complement with longhorn calves kept until they are 14 days aged before they are sole to a veal market.
Another engaging fact about this plantation is that a cows are milked by dual DeLaval VMS robots that are both 19 years old; creation them dual of a oldest DeLaval VMS robots in a Netherlands.
The plantation was also a second plantation in a Netherlands to get DeLaval VMS robots.
Commenting on a opening of a herd, Joris said: “Last year, we constructed 9,000L/cow during 4.5% fat and 3.7% protein; this equates to 760kg of MS/cow – during a bottom cost of 35c/L.
“My ideal cow is a cow that will furnish over 10,000L with 4% protein. When we collect my bulls we concentration on a fat % and protein %. we wish to broach divert not water; H2O costs a lot of money.”
The herd’s diet includes maize, silage, hay, brewers grains and wheat.The maize is grown on plantation along with sugarine beet, potatoes, onions and tulips.
“We do scarcely all a work here ourselves, solely for a harvesting that is finished by a contractor,” explained Joris.
Making a final comment, Joris said: “I adore what we do. I’m a rancher since we wish to be a farmer. If we was doing it for a money, we would put a for sale pointer during a road.”
Farm De Boer
The final plantation we visited was somewhat opposite than a prior two, in that a cows were let out to graze for a proportion of a year; permitting a rancher to accept a reward remuneration of 2c/L.
In a Netherlands, some co-ops offer an additional reward remuneration to dairy farmers that concede their cows out to graze for a suit of a year.
The rancher in doubt is Siem de Boer who runs a plantation along side his hermit Jan. The plantation itself is located approximately 50km outward Amsterdam city and consists of 170ha.
“The dirt here is really peaty and heavy, so it is formidable to graze. The cows are customarily in night and day from October, afterwards out by day in Apr and afterwards out night and day by June,” explained Siem.
On a day of a visit, a cows were out day and night while also receiving some aegis feeding of silage, maize and dejected potatoes; however, Siem remarkable that they would shortly have to be housed during night.
On a plantation is a flock of 300 Holstein cows – that are milked by a 50-bale GEA salon – as good as 150 immature stock, that are grazed off farm.
Touching on a opening of a herd, Siem said: “Last year, we produced, 9,700L/cow during 4.3% fat and 3.6% protein; so, 789kg of MS/cow – during a bottom divert cost of 35c/L.”
The plantation infrastructure includes: a strew containing 315 cubicles; dual slatted sheds; dual silage pits; and a calf rearing shed.
Once born, a calves are changed to unaccompanied calf pens where they are fed 3L of colostrum. They are kept in these pens until they are 14 days aged and are fed 9L of whole milk/calf/day. They are afterwards changed to organisation pens where they are put onto an involuntary tributary and changed on to divert replacer.
The revisit to a Netherlands was a genuine eye opener, though like a dairy attention in Ireland, it is not but the hurdles – such as phosphate limitations; reductions in antibiotic use; and perplexing to control their environmental impact.