Research institute

Agro-innovation centre De Marke

Accurate nutrient management is a prerequisite for further development of dairy farming, particularly in the Netherlands. The amount of milk that can be produced will increasingly be defined by the extent to which farmers succeed to limit nutrient losses. At agro-innovation centre De Marke, innovative measures are designed and tested to minimize nutrient losses while exploring the technical limits of efficient nutrient management.

Available facilities

Site characteristics

  • Soil: light sandy soil
  • Precipitation surplus: 300 mm/yr
  • Organic matter content: 4.5%

Farm characteristics

  • Total area: 55 ha
  • Permanent grassland: 11 ha
  • Grassland and pasture: 33 ha
  • Arable crops: 22 ha
  • Crop rotation: grass-clover – maize: 44 ha
  • Catch crop in maize: Italian rye grass (under-sow)
  • Milking cows: 85
  • Young stock: 6/10 milking cows
  • Milk production per cow: 8,500 kg/yr
  • Production intensity: 13,000 kg milk/ha
  • Grazing period: April - September
  • Grazing hours per day: 6

Special equipement

  • Automated milking system
  • Manure (slurry) fermentation
  • Bio-gas delivery to national gas distribution system
  • (fermented) Slurry separation (into liquid and solid fractions)
  • Manure refinery


  • Meeting room (max. 80 persons)
  • Video conferencing
  • Well-equipped office
  • Training courses
  • (Field) excursions
  • Internships
  • External presentations

About De Marke

The knowledge we obtain is applied by Dutch dairy farms involved in the project Koeien en Kansen. We also collaborate with other knowledge institutions and dairy farmers across northern Europe in the Interreg IVB-project DAIRYMAN.

Our research is conducted by Wageningen Livestock Research and Wageningen Plant Research, both part of Wageningen University & Research (WUR). It is mainly financed by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and the agricultural sector (Dutch Agriculture and Horticulture Organisation LTO and the Dutch Dairy Board).