Netherlands: Cows on chopped tomatoes and pepper plants

The bedded pack barn continues to develop. Several farmers are looking for alternative soil materials. Farmers like Arjan Aarts from Sprundel. He’s in the process of testing a base of chopped tomatoes and pepper plants.



His converted barn goes back to 2010, housing mostly young cattle. The bedded pack barn allows cows to wander freely and to feed using both fixed and mobile mangers. The bottom of the barn first consisted of green compost, though Aarts also used chaff as bedding. But chaff is very dusty, and in limited supply. This winter Aarts started experimenting with chopped tomatoes and pepper plants. The material has a dry matter percentage of 45-50%, and acts as a sponge. It can absorb about 2 times its own weight in moisture.

Also, it contains a lot of organic matter and the amount of heat-resistant bacteria is nil. The material is only slightly more expensive than compost. This winter Aarts will determine whether the material is suitable as a base for the barn.


Source: www.verantwoordeveehouderij.nl

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