The average dairy cow in Flanders now produces more than 30,000 kilogrammes of milk during its lifetime, according to the annual statistics of the Dutch-Flemish cattle breeding cooperative CRV.
The Flemish dairy cows that were removed from production during CRV’s past financial year – which ran from September 2021 to August 2022 – had given an average of 30,166 kg. of milk during their lifetime. Compared to the previous year, this is an increase of 769 kg. The milk also contained more fat and protein.
“The increasing lifetime production is also visible from the growing number of cows with a lifetime production of more than 100,000 kg. of milk,” notes CRV. “Last year, 140 Flemish cows exceeded this amount. In the previous financial year there were 119.”
Among the reasons for the increased production per cow, CRV points to the longer lifespan of the animals (an average of six days longer), the shorter rearing period between birth and the first calf (10 days less), and a shorter interval between calves - 403 days (2 days less).
In addition, the cows simply produce more. Last year the removed cows yielded an average of 30.5 kg. per milking day, compared to 30.0 kg. the year before.
Flemish dairy farms kept an average of 105 dairy cows in the past year.