For the Future of Farming


ForFarmers’ customers visit the Netherlands

Afbeelding: P1040735

Customers and members of the ForFarmers sales team in Wales have recently completed a series of visits to the Netherlands to gain an insight into Dutch dairy production. 

“Dutch dairy producers are renowned for their high levels of efficiency,” explains Carmarthen-based Sales Manager, Aneurin Miles. ”Given current low milk prices in the UK, we wanted to give some of our customers the opportunity to visit The Netherlands and examine how improvements in farm efficiency can be achieved.”  

Over the course of three trips, a total of more than 30 customers visited various Dutch farms, a milk powder factory, feed mill (pictured) and a youngstock research facility. 

“During the farm visits, we got to witness a variety of feeding methods,” continues Aneurin. “These included different types of robotic feeders, self-loading feed wagons and grazing systems. Some farms used contractors with mixer wagons to do their feeding; improving quality and helping reduce costs.”

The key area of interest for many of the visitors, though, was how Dutch farms are able to produce forages of higher quality compared to the UK.

“Even in late October, we saw farmers cutting their 6th and 7th cuts of silage,” explains Aneurin. “Dutch farmers cut grass more frequently, and at a higher cutting height compared to the UK. The grass harvested is mainly leaf, and not stem, which encourages quicker re-growth and larger yields. The level of attention to growing forage was similar to what you would expect when growing arable crops, and Dutch dairy farmers are reaping the rewards.”

“The key message our customers got from the trip was how important attention to detail is, especially when it come to forage and silage production,” concludes Aneurin. “By making lots of small improvements and sometimes working smarter, rather than harder, there are efficiency improvements that all customers can make to their business.”