Economic feasibility of an innovative, welfare and environmental friendly dairy husbandry system

R.P.J. Winden, G.W.J. Giesen, H. Antonissen, A.P. Bos, P.W.G. Groot Koerkamp

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


ThegoalfortheDutchdairyproductionsectoristoproduceinintegratedsustainable productionsystemsthatinvolveeconomic,environmental,animalwelfareandsocietal aspects.TheKwatrijn dairy cow husbandry system was developed by entrepreneurs, Wageningen UR and farmers. The Kwatrijn concept incorporates integratedsolutions to achieve ahigher levelofanimalwelfare,loweremissions of ammoniaandimprovedintegrationofthebarninthelandscape.The measures include the segregation (keep urine and feces separated directly after excretion) of urine and feces,more spaceper cow,improvedfloorfunctionalityand newbarndesign.This research addresses the question how to segregate feces and urine (design study) and to assess the economic performance of Kwatrijn as compared to a traditional farm (modeling study). Thereflexiveinteractive designapproachwasusedtodesignand evaluate a system thatsegregatesurine andfeces inadairy barn. Design steps included 1) make a functionanalysis, 2) set stakeholderrequirementsforthedairyfarmer,dairycowandtheenvironment based (with literature), 3) identify workingprinciples (with patentsearchandliterature), 4) make complete designs concepts, 5) evaluate concepts (against requirements by experts).AneconomicsimulationmodelinExcelwas developed and usedtoassess theeconomicfeasibilityofaKwatrijndairyfarmwithamilkquotaof1,1 Mkg, and compared against aconventionaldairyfarm. Assumptions regarding herdperformance,variablecostsandfixedcosts were based on Dutch standards, and were included in a sensitivity analysis. The four designs for a urine and feces removing system were: 1) a simple low emitting floor above a slurry pit, with scraper to put urine and feces through trenches (as reference), 2) an advanced concreteprofiledfloorwithslopesthat quickly drain theurinethrough holes intodrainpipesunderneath to transport urine to a storage – an autonomous vehicle scoops up the feces, 3) as 2) but with a a v-shaped floor underneath for the transport of the urine, and 4) a porous top floor that drains off urine with a v-shaped closed floor underneath – an autonomous vehicle scoops and sucks up the feces. The four designs were respectively evaluated with 3.2, 4.1, 4.3, and 4.4 (scale 1-5). Evaluation criteria were soundlevel,technicallifetime,laborrequirements, energy usage, urineremoval efficiency, frictioncoefficientandroughness ofthefloor, ammonia emission. Thenetfarmincomefrom the operation of Kwatrijn wasapproximately€10.000.-lower than for the conventional farm.Thiswas partly caused by higherfixed
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventAgEng 2014 - Zurich, Switzerland
Duration: 6 Jul 201410 Jul 2014


ConferenceAgEng 2014


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