Dairy goat herd has increased again
|Periode||Dairy goat herd size (x 1,000)|
|* Provisional figures.|
The dairy goat herd has seen practically uninterrupted growth over the past two decades; only between 2009 and 2010 was there a significant decline (-10 percent) due to the cullings on account of the Q fever outbreaks. Livestock numbers subsequently rose again, reaching 476 thousand in 2020. A number of provinces have implemented a goat stop.
Less organic goat farmingThe number of organically reared dairy goats has declined slightly since last year (-1.4 percent). According to the latest herd count, the organic goat herd stands at roughly 41.5 thousand heads this year. 8.7 percent of the national dairy goat herd are raised organically, a larger share than in the dairy cow herd with 2.5 percent raised organically.
The Netherlands currently has 71 organic goat farms, i.e. 4 percent fewer than in 2019. The number of farms (71) was the same two decades ago in 2000.
Scale increase continues
The dairy goat sector has increased in scale, similar to the dairy cattle sector. The average herd size per farm has gone up from 117 in 2000 to 837 this year. At the turn of the century, there were 40 farms with 500 or more dairy goats, representing 5 percent of the total number of goat farms. This has increased to a share exceeding 50 percent (323 farms). As of this year, there are altogether 569 farms with a dairy goat herd.
The average herd size per farm is even higher at specialised goat farms. In 2000, the average herd size at specialised dairy goat farms stood at 313 heads; this is 1,177 as of 2020. 96 percent of all dairy goats in the Netherlands are reared at specialised farms.
|Periode||Average herd per farm|
|* Provisional figures.|
|1 to 19 heads (%)||20 to 49 heads (%)||50 to 99 heads (%)||100 to 199 heads (%)||200 to 499 heads (%)||500 heads or more (%)|
Most dairy goats in Noord-Brabant and Gelderland40 percent of dairy goat farms are located in either Noord-Brabant (115 farms) or Gelderland province(110 farms). These provinces house over half of the national dairy goat herd: Noord-Brabant has 30 percent and Gelderland 25 percent.
The largest herd size is found in the municipality of Ede (16.5 thousand), followed by the municipality of Landerd (13 thousand).
|Provincienaam||Dairy goat herd|
Labour input per goat has decreasedThe number of annual work units per goat has decreased by 80 percent over the past two decades. Twenty years ago, 100 dairy goats had a labour input of 1.5 annual work units. This has declined to 0.3 annual work units by 2020. Dairy goat farms have an average of 2.7 annual work units. For comparison: dairy cattle farms have an average of 2.2 annual work units.
One-third of the work is performed by women. This is a higher share than at dairy cattle farms, where approximately 25 percent of the work is done by women.
Around 30 percent of the work on the goat farms is done by workers who are not part of the family. Family labour force represents 90 percent of the annual work units on dairy cattle farms, a higher share than on goat farms.