The dairy farmers of CONO Kaasmakers are once again champions of outdoor grazing. In 2020, over 96% of CONO's dairy farms met the grazing standard, while nationwide 83.7% of all Dutch dairy farmers put their cows out to pasture. In 2020, cows at CONO grazed in pastures for an average of 185 days of 10 hours on average. As a result, CONO dairy farmers are once again making an additional contribution to nitrogen reduction.
Recent years typified with dry and hot summers. CONO cows are kept outside as much as possible, weather permitting. This avoids heat stress as much as possible. By, for example, grazing at night, watering the land and properly rationing the fresh grass, the dairy farmers manage to keep the cattle grazing on their feet.
Learn young is done old
CONO dairy farmers also actively graze their young cattle. Grazing them at a young age gives them a taste for it. This will come in handy when they become full-fledged dairy cows after a few years. This is why the majority of CONO dairy farmers also let their young cattle graze outdoors. After all, young is old.
Pasturing in the DNA of CONO dairy farmers
For years, CONO members have been active in the field of pasturing. The cooperative has supported this with a premium since 2002. That this was a qualitative leap forward in terms of animal welfare, sustainability and milk quality is evident from the fact that currently almost every dairy processor in the Netherlands has adopted this working method and also offers a similar premium. For the cooperative, outdoor grazing remains a priority in order to continue to make the tastiest cheese and cream for Ben&Jerry's from the best quality milk, made from 100% outdoor milk. Now and in the future.
Want to learn more about how things work at our farmers' farms? Then read on here.