More Dutch cows eat hemp
The number of Dutch dairy farmers that feed their cows hemp fiber is on the rise this year after mostly positive experiences of farmers in the Netherlands.
Animal feed producers and seed suppliers Agrifirm estimates the number of interested parties to about thirty this year.
In the north of the Netherlands nobody is surprised of vast fields of hemp plants (totaling an estimated 2000 hectares). Growers use hemp as the fiber for the production of textiles. In Brabant people are surprised sometimes, but Agrifirm dairy farmers expects growing hemp to 100 acres this year.
Hemp is an alternative to straw and in addition to the bulk grass or corn that the cows eat. The fiber supplement is required for the contraction of the rumen to stimulate and improve digestion.
The initial experience of fiber hemp as feed for cows is good, says De Beer. Cows that eat hemp give a little more milk and are especially healthy.
In the longer term, life expectancy and therefore increase efficiency. Moreover, the cultivation of hemp fiber cheap, simple and durable.
The strong plant grows to 4.5 inches a day and can be harvested in August. Irrigation, fertilization and crop protection are not required.
Cow photo By AnjaF.