Dutch dairy farms are often perceived as an example for the rest of the world, due to high productivity of milk per cow and per farm. What is less known, is that Dutch dairy farming is going though a severe crisis, especially due to environmental degradation.

In a 2019 a study by Pesticide Action Network Netherlands (PAN-NL) on pesticides in dairy analysed soil, fodder, concentrated feed and manure on presence of pesticides in 23 dairy farms. A total of 129 different pesticides (including biocides and metabolites) were detected on the 16 conventional farms, and 69 on the 8 organic farms. This shows the high presence of pesticides in the environment, used for example for controling flies and other ectoparasites on dairy cattle. Amongst other factors this, may explain why the population of meadow birds has been reduced over 75% in recent decades. The presence on organic dairy farms may be explained from the use of long-lasting pesticides in the past. A PP version of the study can be found here

More info on Dutch dairy farming and background of the current crisis