The Animal Sciences Group of Wageningen University and Research Centre in the Netherlands has reported three future visions for the Dutch dairy sector. These visions are part of the project Power for Cows.
The project Kracht van Koeien (the Power of Cows) has been assigned to
develop a more sustainable dairy husbandry system by the Dutch ministry of
Agriculture in which the project team is working on a re-design of the present
dairy husbandry production system together with stakeholders in the
With these stakeholders the project team formulated three
– Dairy Husbandry with Energy
– Milk, the Mineral
– Growth through reduction in production scale
As far as the
future vision Dairy Husbandry with Energy’ is concerned, it became clear that
energy and minerals are complementary. Looking at the issue from a cyclic
perspective yields a wide variety of concrete ideas with a range of
possibilities within the system. Discussing the future vision ‘Melk, the Mineral
Motor’ concluded in the realization that manure and urine can become more
valuable in future. This could be realized through several different approaches.
The session also yielded ideas about how to apply manure in pastures. The future
vision ‘Growth through reduction in production scale’ was enriched by ideas for
autonomous self-regulating herds and using a different (smaller) type of cow.
The results of these creative
sessions will be used as input for the continuation of the design process; not
only to shape ideas and directions of the eventual design, but also in creating
networks that are willing to make a step towards a more sustainable dairy
husbandry in the Netherlands.
Future changes in the global dairy sector
Full report (in Dutch)
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