In volume terms, Holland produced the greatest amount of extra milk in the EU in 2015, but the Irish Co-operative Organisation Society (ICOS) has said phosphate limits are expected to slow production increases.
Last year, Dutch milk production increased by 6.8 per cent, equivalent to an additional 850,000 tonnes of milk. There are 18,000 dairy farmers in Holland with 1.6 million dairy cows, producing 12.5 million tonnes on an annual basis.
An extremely mild winter over the months of November and December, created processing capacity concerns for Friesland Campina, which responded with a temporary supply initiative in January. In fact, milk supply in the latter months of 2015 exceeded their traditional Spring peak.
In 2016, it is projected that Holland will continue to increase production (+520,000t) but at a lower level than 2015 due to environmental concerns over phosphates.
It is estimated that Dutch dairy farmers will have to cull between 60,000 to 100,000 cows in order to comply with EU phosphates limits.
Phosphate production in 2015 was 176.3 million kg, which is 3.4 million kg above the Dutch derogation under EU legislation. The new rules are enforceable from 1 January 2017.
Dutch dairy farmers will be issued with phosphate rights, based on the number of cows in July 2015. Farmers will be allowed to trade these rights, with extra allowances available to extensive, pasture based farms.
Source – The Dairy Site