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Challenges For Climate Care Dairy Farming In The Netherlands – Innovative Approaches

The successfully development of the Netherlands’ Agri & Food sector in the last 70 years by maximizing the production at minimal costs has led to a situation where the Netherlands’ animal sectors are now responsible for a high national contribution to environmental impacts.

These are acidification of nature areas (mainly by NH3), global warming (CH4) and biodiversity loss. Improvements and reductions have been achieved, to various extents, by single-issue approaches (policy) and solutions in the biophysical production system. Further strong improvements on all environmental aspects are needed, without causing trade-offs and negative side effects. This is a huge challenge for typical highly populated regions as the Netherlands with intensive livestock production and very critical societies.

Therefore, the Netherlands’ Dairy chain has set goals for 2030 to increase the sustainability on the topics of climate, welfare, grazing, biodiversity, environment, new business model, land based farming and safety in the yard. Also, a coalition of dairy sector organizations have proposed a number of management practices to reduce ammonia emission, i.e. dilution of manure, more grazing and lowering protein in ration.

Besides these ambitions, strategic aspects of resilience, needs and best practices of dairy farmers involved in two EU projects will be discussed. Some innovative technical practices dealing with environmental management will be demonstrated. 

Keywords: environment, strategy, innovative, good practices, dairy farmer, sector

The Netherlands

Author(s): Kuipers A. (1), Galama P. (1), Zijlstra J. (1)

Organization(s): Wageningen Livestock Research (1)