Goat farmer invests in six new silage clamps
De Methorst Melkgeiten in Lunteren, owned by the Van Beek family, made major investments last year to create modern feed storage systems for around 3,800 milking goats. This farm opted to construct six Bosch Beton silage clamps to provide their goats with good-quality feed throughout the year.
One of the largest milking goat farms
With around 3,800 milking goats, De Methorst is one of the biggest goat farms of the Netherlands. The farm grasped the opportunities for this growth following increasing demand for goat milk. After constructing a modern new shed with a milking carousel, they also decided to invest in new storage systems for the goats’ roughage. This investment has helped them produce some five million litres of goat milk per year, mainly for export. With an automated feeding system and roofs full of solar panels, this farm is not only one of the largest, but it’s also one of the most efficient goat farms in the Netherlands.
Continued demand for goat milk
The range of goat milk products is fairly limited in Dutch supermarkets but demand for these products is much higher from, for instance, Asia. As consumer confidence in their own country’s milk production is low, western countries became major milk product suppliers in Asia last year. Goat milk has a different fat structure than cow milk, which is why goat milk has become extremely popular in baby food manufacture as well as offering a solution for adults with lactose intolerance. Market demand fell after the coronavirus, resulting in lower milk prices but, looking back, the farm took the right decision at the right time in switching to roughage supply to reduce feed costs. De Methorst is also taking a completely different path in 2023. The Van Beek family recently acquired De Polderzoom cheese dairy, which now uses a major proportion of the goat milk to produce goat cheese marketed under the name Goat Valley.
De Methorst was established in 2015, when it fed its goats mainly using concentrated feed supplemented with roughage from round bales. Over the years they started the switch to mainly roughage. Storing this in silage clamps creates a much more stable supply, resulting in healthier goats. The amount of concentrated feed was reduced from 0.7 kg to 0.4 kg per kilo of milk, which also resulted in much lower feed costs for equivalent production. This more natural approach to feeding also promotes a good image among consumers, enhancing consumer appreciation of the goat farm and the popularity of goat milk products.
Choice for Bosch Beton
Following its large-scale expansion to roughage supply, De Methorst faced major forage storage challenges. They decided to invest in six new silage clamps after receiving detailed advice from the Bosch Beton account manager. Four of these silage clamps were built using 2-metre-high LA retaining wall elements, with three being 96 metres long and one being 84 metres long. These silage clamps were all finished with double separated drainage to optimise rainwater and effluent separation. Two smaller silage clamps were also constructed using L100 retaining walls, each being 28 metres in length. Bosch Beton helped the customer make good decisions from the initial design stage and delivered a total solution. The customer is now reaping significant financial benefits as well as daily job satisfaction.
If you would like to know more about this project or our customised retaining wall solutions for silage clamps, please feel free to contact our consultants.
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