The abolition of the milk quota and introduction of a new manure policy is expected to change the Dutch dairy sector. Researchers of Animal Production Systems (APS) and Business and Economics (BEC) used a whole farm optimization model to simulate changes in farm management to gain insight into the impact of this new legislation.
Results show that within the limitations of the phosphate quota, which is part of the new manure policy, farm expansion is possible by increasing phosphate efficiency. For an average Dutch dairy farm, increasing the number of cows is profitable until manure needs to be processed or land needs to be purchased to fulfil policy requirements. Results are based on a milk price of €35.50 per 100 kg (10-years average), and the assumption that stable capacity has to be increased in case of expansion. If stable capacity is already available, however, because the farmer anticipated on the abolition of the milk quota, it does pay off to use it even if manure needs to be processed. In addition, if milk prices increase up to the level of 2013-2014, farm expansion is much more attractive.