Zuidbroek – the Netherlands
“Maatschap Bos-Carabain” Dairy Farm
Herd size: 401 total, 210 lactating cows
120 hectares of arable land
Wim Bos, your herd size is considerably large. How many people work on your farm?
“There are two of us, my father and I. We have no external labourers”.
How do you manage?
“We are doing all the landwork by our self, only a contractor take care of specific operations. In the dairy farm we have no employees but we do have a robot with five boxes and one mechanical arm; and my father works a lot”.
How much do you work?
“Around 55-60 hours per week”.
Do you have any hobbies?
“Yes, and my luck is that they coincide with my work on the farm”.
The Netherlands has pressed ahead vigorously with milk production (+4.04% in the period January-August 2015, based on Clal data). In view of the current milk price, aren’t you worried?
“There are some weak signs of recovery. Together with 70-80% of Dutch farmers, we sell our milk to the dairy cooperative FrieslandCampina and the price fixed for the month of November is of 29.75 euros for 100 kilograms of milk, against the 29.0 euros of the previous month. We are very confident in the export strategies of FrieslandCampina, which has identified important growth markets in Asia, China and Africa”.
You had a chance to visit some Italian dairy farms. Which are the main differences compared to the Dutch ones?
“One of the interesting differences is that you pay for water; we pay more or less the same amount, around 125 euros per hectare, to have it removed…”.