NetherlandsLandOfDairyThe dairy farm determines a great deal of the Dutch landscape. A fourth of Dutch land is used for cattle grazing and to grow maize for feed. The Netherlands is home to approximately 18,000 dairy farms and 62 dairy factories. The dairy sector accounts for 60,000 jobs, and the country’s 1.6 million cows produce 13 billion liters of milk. The Netherlands is certainly a dairy country.

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Source: NZO


At the 2015 Food Valley Expo, Qlip laboratory is going to introduce its new grazing indicator. This indicator uses big data to determine whether milk was produced by cows that graze on pasture. Based on the indicator’s underlying infrastructure and computational models, Qlip is also developing other milk indicators. In an interactive workshop, Qlip will show how this technology can help the entire dairy chain, from grass to glass.

The grazing indicator weights the probability that milk was produced by cows that grazed fresh grass on pasture. The spectra and computational models underlying this indicator are also being used to develop other valuable indicators. Based on big milk data, Qlip is developing models and indicators to determine animal health and welfare, as well as sustainability. These indicators could detect a range of characteristics at herd or individual cow level including metabolic disorders like ketosis and ruminal acidosis in dairy cattle, and measure important environmental factors like methane emissions. These data can be used to support dairy farmers in the management of their businesses, dairy herd improvement programs in the breeding of better cows, and the dairy industry in the improvement and assurance of product quality.

Source: FoodvalleyExpo

"The Dutch dairy industry is a leading economic sector, one that is investing heavily in sustainability, quality and innovation. Our people capture not only the hearts of women in our own country, but also markets and people across the world," says Tjeerd de Groot, director of the Dutch Dairy Association (NZO), with a nod to the popular TV series Farmer Seeks Wife. "The images of farmers, busy every day with their cows, are a business card for the dairy sector. We are proud of this, but we have more to offer than the romantic farmer's life." Today, the NZO releases its report The Engine of the Economy on the economic importance of the dairy sector.


  • 1.6 million cows
  • 18,000 dairy farms
  • 12.7 billion kilos of milk per year
  • 23 companies and their 52 factories process dairy into products and ingredients
  • 55% of all milk is processed into cheese
  • The production value of the dairy industry grew from 4.9 billion (2005) to 7 billion euros (2014)
  • The production value of dairy farms grew from 3.5 billion (2005) to 5 billion euros (2014)
  • 44,700 fulltime jobs
  • 1 billion in investments (2013-2015) in new production facilities
  • Annual dairy export grew from 3.8 billion (2005) to 7 billion euros (2014), with an average growth of 7% per year
  • 8% of the Dutch trade surplus (export value minus import)
  • 16.1% of all Dutch export to Asia, with an annual growth of 7.8%
  • Second largest in revenue per capita within the EU (after Ireland)
  • Fifth largest in milk production within the EU (after Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Poland)


A study summarizing progress with a new cattle disease-screening tool will be presented by FOSS at the forthcoming ICAR (International Committee for animal recording) technical workshop.

The tool allows milk testing laboratories to screen for signs of ketosis in dairy cattle - a metabolic disease that can reduce milk yield by over 500 kg of milk per cow per year.

Introduced by FOSS in 2007, the screening is giving milk-testing laboratories a new service option to offer their customers as a part of routine milk testing. The screening test is now well established in the Netherlands, France, USA and Canada with many other countries coming on board.

The Canadian experience

Among other countries, the study examines positive results from Quebec, Canada.  A ketosis screening service has been offered by the Valacta milk-testing laboratory as an option for farmers in the region since April 2011. Over 54% of cows are now screened for ketosis and the prevalence of ketosis has declined steadily from 26% in 2011 to 15% in 2014.

The screening has also helped to chart the negative impact of ketosis on dairy herd production. Cows showing early signs of ketosis produced 2.4 kg less milk on the day of the test. The milk from these cows had a higher fat and lower protein and urea content, as well as higher somatic cell count indicating possible mastitis. Reproductive performance was also negatively affected.

How it works

Beyond the normal tests for fat, protein and lactose, the Fourier Transform InfraRed (FTIR) technology behind modern milk testing equipment can reveal many other valuable data. Screening for signs of ketosis based on the detection of ketone bodies occuring in milk is just one of these new possibilities.

Ketosis occurs in dairy cattle when energy output for milk production is too high relative to energy input from feed and uptake from fat deposits. Sub clinical ketosis is the hidden form of the disease.

It occurs when energy uptake from fat deposits is too high, as is the conversion of fat to glucose in the liver. As a result, acetone and beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) are excreted as residues. An indication of levels of the acetone and BHB residues in milk can be provided by the FTIR technology used in analytical instruments such as the MilkoScan FT+ Analyser. This allows the milk testing centre to provide the farmer with valuable information to tackle an otherwise undetected problem and to take appropriate actions to improve animal health.                                                                                

The presentation entitled “Global experience on ketosis screening by FTIR technology” will be presented by Daniel Schwarz, Cattle Disease Specialist FOSS on Wednesday, 10 June 2015, 10.30 AM at the ICAR technical workshop: Holiday Inn, Wielopole 4, Kraków.

Source: FOSS