Same proportion of dairy cows in the pasture in 2012 as in 2011

01/10/2013 15:00

Last year, 70 percent of dairy cows were grazed, approximately the same proportion as in 2011. In the period 2001-2011, the proportion declined by a few percent almost every year. In 2001, 90 percent of dairy cattle were grazed.

Share grazing dairy cows

Share grazing dairy cows

On large farms cows are often kept stabled

Dairy cows tend to be kept stabled all year round on large farms. On average, 44 percent of cows on dairy farms with 160 or more cattle are grazed. On the smallest dairy farms,  –  40 or fewer cows – an average of 92 percent were grazed. The results over 2011 show a similar picture.

Share grazing dairy cows by farm size, 2012

Share grazing dairy cows by farm size, 2012

Vast regional differences

The farm size is not the only factor to play a part. The type of soil (fit for grassland or arable farming), operational management and availability of space in the immediate vicinity of the farm are also important factors. In grassland areas (west and central part of the Netherlands), cows are generally more often grazed than in arable areas (Flevoland and Zeeland) and in areas with a relatively high amount of intensive cattle-breeding farms (e.g. North Brabant).

Share grazing dairy cows by region, 2012

Share grazing dairy cows by region, 2012

André Meurink