I am regularly invited by dairy farmers om te komen praten. Vaak komt het gesprek dan al snel op PG NxT STEP® uit. (Voorheen “Natuurlijk Werken”, de nieuwe naam bekt beter, vandaar de naamsverandering 😊).

The reason for the discussion is often that livestock farmers see that their margins are too small, the investment pressure is high and farmers have lost touch with nature. I see the hands pouring the coffee and answer the questions asked from the heart.

They are tired of the system and lack a good alternative.

Recently I came across an article from 2015 about the cost price in the dairy farm. It was about the results of a WUR study on the application of the Irish dairy farming system in the Netherlands.

Of course there are differences between the countries, such as climate, precipitation, soil type and milk sales. But;

“Uniformity leads to a standstill. Pluralism leads to progress” – Albert Einstein

The article indicates that applying a comparable system immediately yields money FOR FARMERS; in an extensive farm, the income improvement is 130% on the farm with an intensive businessmodel the income improvement is even 1225%. This large increase in income is caused by the lower income on the intensive farms. This comes out to; -€4,000. While the extensive company comes out at +€19,000.

A recent Irish study leads to the same conclusion. This examines the economic results of specialized dairy farms in Germany, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium and France.

In this study it is determined what amount is left per kg of milk as compensation for the contribution of labor and land.

In Ireland this amounted to 0.08 € / ltr in that period, with the corresponding figures for Denmark; – € 0.01 / ltr, Germany; € 0.027 / ltr, France; € 0.025 / ltr, the Netherlands; €0.036/ltr and the UK are €0.046/ltr.

This is despite the fact that the Irish milk price is € 0.05 / ltr lower!

This fact, in combination with the recent research by Meino Smit, which shows that Dutch agriculture needs 6 units of energy input per hectare for 1 unit of output, clearly indicates which way the farmer should go.

Simplify business operations and focus on margin per liter of milk!

Here you will find the relevant studies:
WUR Irish business system: https://edepot.wur.nl/258751
Irish research: https://www.teagasc.ie/publications/2020/an-analysis-of-the-irish-dairy-sector-post-quota-.php
Meino Smit: https://edepot.wur.nl/449448