Technological Innovation in Dutch Cattle Breeding and Dairy Farming, 1850-2000

J. Bieleman

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    7 Citations (Scopus)


    This article attempts to present the broad outlines of technological change in Dutch cattle breeding and dairy farming over the last 150 years. After 1850, Dutch dairy farmers and cattle breeders profited from the rapidly increasing opportunities offered by expanding foreign markets. Herd book organisations were established to meet the demand for breeding cattle from abroad. In 1904, the Dutch Herd Book Organisation was reorganised, aiming its breeding policy at three well-defined types of cattle according the pure-line breeding principle. After 1950 aims in cattle breeding were changed, as it appeared likely that in the near future the production of cheese would become more important than that of butter. At the same time it became clear that the one sided concentration on exterior appearance had led cattle breeding into a cul-de-sac. Consequently breeding programmes had to be developed which used new technologies in breeding, centralised milk recording and artificial insemination. At the same time, the need for a higher labour productivity encouraged the rapid spread of milking machines. To cope with the increasing number of cattle per farm, new types of stall and foddering systems were introduced and the transportation of milk from farm to factory changed fundamentally with the introduction of bulk milk tankers.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)229-250
    JournalAgricultural History Review
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


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