INTERNATIONAL cross breeding specialist Hans Kerkhov has told Farming Life that Dutch dairy processors are about to ramp up the price they pay milk producers for lactose while, at the same time, reducing the returns available for butterfat.
“Lactose has been identified as an important constituent in baby milk formula,” he added.
“Moreover, it is an excellent carrier for a large number of drugs.
“The Dutch dairy sector is primed for significant growth post the ending of quotas in 2015. And, from what I can see, the same principle holds in those parts of northern Europe where water availability is not an issue.
“I realise that milk producers in Northern Ireland had to deal with very wet conditions indeed last year. However, when taken in the round, the prospects for milk production on the island of Ireland are extremely promising.
“The same cannot be said for most of southern Europe where milk producers are forced to irrigate their land up to six times per year in order to grow sufficient feed for their cows.”
The Dutch based consultant went on to point out that future land availability in Holland will be the key constraining factor when it comes to determining the extent by which the milk industry in that country grows over the coming years.
“This is linked exclusively to the area of land that will be required for the purposes of spreading slurry,” he stressed.
On the subject of dairy farming profitability Hans Kerkhov confirmed that producers milking crossbreds in the Netherlands are currently generating gross margins of €1,700 per cow.
“Crossbreeding offers the prospect of cows with good milk and longer production lives,” he commented.
“This message has really hit home with dairy farmers in Holland to the extent that 20% of all Dutch dairy inseminations now have a cross breeding focus.”