In Holland, two months after the dairy cooperative Royal FrieslandCampina started a program to support member dairy farms to invest in generating electricity by a windmill, 400 farmers have already applied for a windmill. The windmills with an axle height of 15 meter are aimed for delivering electricity to the own farm and not to the grid. The RFC members can buy this windmills of a specific brand at a collective lower price.
Holland had in 2018 907000 hectare pastures. This was two percent less than in 2017. The total dry matter yield of grass was in 2018 17 percent less than in 2017. In 2018 the dry matter yield was 5362 million kilogram. Average mowing index was 275 percent. Of the mowed grass 87 percent was used for silage, five percent for hay, four percent for feeding direct to cattle and four percent for other purposes. (Source: Dutch national statistical office CBS.)
In Great Britain the number of dairy cows is still decreasing. On July 1, 2019 there were 1.73 million dairy cows which was 48000 or 2.7 percent less than one year before, according to AHDB.
In Ireland in July 2019 the supply of milk from dairy farms to processors was in volume 10.4 percent more than in July last year. In the same period the sales of consumer milk increased 4.1 percent, according to the Irish Central Statistics Office.
The Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) reports a slight decrease in the fertility performance of the national dairy herd. The average calving interval increased by 3 days from 387 days in 2018, to 390 days in 2019. During the 2019 period there was 0.91 calves/cow/year, this is up from 0.90 in 2018. The National Statistics are based on data from 13,902 herds.
The biggest Irish dairy cooperative Dairygold has launched the brand Pastureland which guarantees that the milk comes from grass-fed cows who graze outdoors for up to 270 days on a diet of grass and white clover and that their diet on open pastures is 97 percent grass based. The Pastureland brand will be rolled out across all Dairygold Food Ingredients’ products, from dairy powders to cheeses.
Danish dairy farmers succeeded to decrease the number of calves born dead on first calvings of heifers. At year 2001 on average 11.5 percent of calves were born dead, in 2018 year just 7.1 percent of calves were born dead.
The Denmark headquartered dairy cooperative Arla has started the production of an almond/coffee drink for Starbucks. Arla already delivered milk to Starbucks. Arla has plans to start production of more non-milk drinks, only plant juices. In Denmark has started a discussion about if Arla should produce other products than based on milk, or not.
In Sweden in 2018 there was an increase in the amount of organic milk delivered to dairies by 12 percent or 50800 tonnes compared with 2017. In total, 465000 tonnes organic milk was delivered to the dairies. Almost 17 percent of the total milk production in Sweden was organic in 2018. The production of organic drinking milk increased by one percent during 2018 compared with 2017 while the production of acidified milk was almost unchanged. The production of cream increased by 10 percent and the production of cheese decreased slightly, according to the Swedish Board of Agriculture.
In Sweden in 2018 milk production decreased by 2.0 percent compared to 2017. Import of dairy products increased by 3.7 percent and export decreased by 1.3 percent. Consumption of dairy products increased by 0.5 percent. In Sweden the self-sufficiency ratio of dairy products was 72.1 percent last year, down 2.6 percent from 2017. Dairy consumption decreased by 0.6 percent to 375.9 kg per capita.
In Finland milk consumption in 2018 was 105.6 litres per capita. In 2000 this was 137.5 litres and 70 years ago in 1960 it was even 262.7 litres per capita.
In Finland the biggest dairy cooperative Valio has launched milk from free-range cows, which means that the milk comes from cows housed in freestall barns. From mid-September, Valio’s one-litre and 1.75-litre milk, i.e. skim, low-fat, semi-skim and whole milk, will come from free-range cows all around Finland. Milk is Valio’s largest category of consumer products, and that is why they chose just the milk to be their first free-range product. Since the beginning of 2018, Valio has paid a sustainability bonus to the dairy farmers who have committed to higher standards of animal welfare. The bonus is currently two cents per litre of milk. One of the requirements for the sustainability bonus is regular animal healthcare check-ups carried out by a veterinarian. In addition, dairy farms take good care of their animals hooves and provide anaesthesia, pain relief, and sedation during disbudding – the removal of a calf’s growing horns. All the farms that produce free-range milk are within the sustainability bonus programme. Finnish private dairy company Juustoportti launched free-range milk in 2015.
In Finland 25 dairy and beef cattle farms are under restrictions because of salmonella infection. 19 of these 25 cases have been detected during this year, 7 cases are from last year (2018). Jackdaws (Corvus monedula) are suspected to spread salmonella in the western part of the country, but there are other reasons for infections as well. One of those is rodents which are bringing the bacteria to the farms. There have been several types of Salmonella in cattle farms (S. Altona, S. Diarizonae, S. Enteritidis, S. Infantis, S. Konstanz, S. Typhimurium). This year is exceptional, because normally less than 10 salmonella cases are found from Finnish cattle farms during a year. In Finland all the salmonella infections will always be eradicated from any farm producing animal products. In Finland there is an eradicating program in samples are taken from all around the farm (feeds, barn, animals, birds, …). They will search the origin of salmonella and then decide how to eradicate it. Normally cattle get clean from the bacteria, if they do not get new infection. When feeds are infected, they will be destroyed. Farms have insurances for that.
The Rabobank Global Dairy Top 20 2019, is the latest survey of the world’s largest dairy companies in 2018. In 2018, lower commodity prices, adverse weather conditions in key export regions, a strong US dollar, and currency shifts have affected the combined turnover of the Global Dairy Top 20 companies. In US dollar terms, there was an increase of 2.5% on the year, compared to 7.2% in the previous year. However, combined 2018 turnover in euro terms dropped by 2.0% versus an upward trend of 5.1% in 2017. For the total ranking, see the attached Excel-document.
In the EU was in the first five months of 2019 in volume 0.3 percent more milk produced. Biggest growth in volume realized Ireland (+11.5%), United Kingdom (+3.1%) and Poland (+2.9%). Milk production felt most in volume in Holland (-2.7%), Italy (-1.8%) and France (-1.6%).
In Germany in July compared to June the raw material or compound value of milk at farm fell 0.6 eurocent to 30.4 eurocent per kilogram milk with 4.0 percent fat and 3.4 percent protein (exclusive VAT). This is 3.5 eurocent less than in the same month last year. The highest future price of milk for the next 18 months on the Kieler Börsenmilchwert European Energy Exchange is the price for February 2021 at 36.1 eurocent. The lowest future price is the price for August 2019 at 31.2 eurocent. www.ife-ev.de
Germany had in May 2019 a number of 61087 dairy farms which is 2898 less than one year before.
In Holland, in the northern province Friesland, pastures are suffering on a plaque of mice. The little rodents eat the grass and undermine the turf by digging tunnels. To attack the mice farmers pump water on the pastures so that the mice come out their tunnels and drown or get eaten by birds.
In Holland an analyses by the accountancy Flynth of economic results of 300 farms with that average have 110 dairy cows and produce one million kilogram milk a year shows that farms that are pasturing their cows make average 400 euro per hectare more profit. This is most realized by lower feed and labour and mechanisation costs and a higher milk price.
In Holland, the dairy cooperative Royal FrieslandCampina will join the initiative to produce local cheese on the northern isle of Terschelling with nine dairy farms. On the isle a new cheese plant will be built with the help of RFC and RFC’s daughter cheese wholesaler Zijderveld will help with the distribution and marketing of the cheese with the brand Skylger.