Calne Dairy Discussion Group (CDDG) and Vitfoss Trip, Denmark

A fantastic trip to Denmark enabled CDDG trip to visit some high yield dairy units and a Vitfoss mineral production plant.  Arla has 90% of the milk contracts and it was interesting to see less importance placed on milk constituents!  Most of their milk is exported, there are 5 other milk co-ops, 2 main feed companies and 2 main supermarkets.

Denmark and Holland have stricter regulations regarding muck applications and food traceability, with all farmers using ONE main database (see left) to store information which authorities can check, making things much simpler for all!

Danish herds have a high debt level which has fallen from €19.5/cow in 2016 to €18/cow in 2018.  Many herds are only paying back the interest rather than reducing the debt level.  This has resulted in a high level of bankruptcies and significant investment.

3 herds were visited.  The first was a 480 cow 6,800 litre Jersey herd, “compact fed” and producing 6.57% Butterfat and 4.26% Protein.

The second involved a 450 cow, 11,800 litre Holstein farm at 3.8% Butterfat and 3.43% Protein.  This herd had removed robots and replaced with a herringbone parlour which had led to a shortage of feed head space.  It did however have a more effective feed rate.

The third farm was an exceptionally run 330 cow, 11,500 litre Holstein herd producing 3.8% Butterfat and 3.43% Protein.  Again, this herd was “compact feeding” and attention to detail was visible everywhere.  The host farmer was very happy with X-Zelit in his dry cow transition period, having tried all the DCAB systems available.

We also visited the Vitfoss mineral plant which produced ruminant and monogastric minerals for Germany and Denmark.  It was evident that the production facility was run by an exceptional manager, with staff and Just-in-Time management principles at the heart of operations.

If you would like to know more, then please e-mail Wesley at or contact your local FCG Office.

Posted in Business Management, Calne Dairy, Chippenham, Dairy & Forage.