Sustainable livestock farming

Livestock farming in the Netherlands is faced with a number of major challenges, such as those of reducing the excess nitrogen in nature reserves, improving water quality and the conservation of meadow birds. The Louis Bolk Institute sees the need for systemic change. This means a combination of measures that will ensure closing cycles at both farm and regional levels. It also means more nature-inclusive production; for instance, by stimulating soil organisms and herbaceous grassland. At the Louis Bolk Institute, we are keen to work with both conventional and organic livestock farmers, the business community, government authorities and civil society organisations to further shape this sustainable future and transition.

Connecting practice and science

The Louis Bolk Institute researches livestock farming with high product quality as a starting point. Product quality ensures healthy nutrition as well as a production method that delivers ecosystem services for society and the physical environment. This applies, for example, to water quantity and quality, climate mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity, nature and landscape. We have decades of scientific knowledge about and experience in natural processes related to soil, grassland and animal health and welfare. When applying such knowledge and experience, we always translate this into customised actions for the everyday practice of livestock farmers and for cooperative relationships with arable farmers, while taking, for example, land policy, remuneration structure and revenue models into account. We are able to provide knowledge on a variety of subjects, such as certain processes, the development of measures (to get the ball rolling), measurements and assessments (key performance indicators (KPIs)), ecosystem services and area-specific processes — in both theory and practice.

More information  

If you are looking for a knowledge institute in the field of R&D related to sustainable livestock farming as well as to systems that work and area-specific processes, or for courses on farming practices, then take a look at our projects below or contact  Nick van Eekeren