Earning their sea legs, 32 cows have made agricultural history after boarding the world’s first floating dairy farm located in the Netherlands. Appropriately named Floating Farm, the three-tiered structure will feature a robotic milking system, a robotic feeding system and an air-tight manure storage facility.
Developed by the Dutch Agriculture and Dairy Sector, Uit Je Eigen Stad, and Beladon, the idea of this concept aims to address the problem of feeding a growing population during a time when the competition for land is growing.
"Seventy percent of the face of the Earth is water, while the world population is growing and arable land is limited so we have to look in other ways to produce fresh food next to the citizens, to reduce transport," Minke van Wingerden, a partner at Beladon , told NBC. "It's a logical step to produce fresh food on the water. Most big cities are situated in [river] deltas, and it's easy to use the deltas for food production."
Docked at sea in Rotterdam near the mouth of the New Meuse River, Floating Farm is predicted to produce more than 200 gallons of milk and yogurt each day when fully operational.
The cows will be kept on the farm's second level, a garden-like enclosure where the animals will be milked by robots, according to NBC. The third level will feature a greenhouse to grow grass, clover and other forages used for feed. Machinery used to process and package milk and yogurt will be housed at the bottom tier of the facility.
Using a bridge between the farm and the dock, the animals will also have access to an adjacent pasture when tides permit, according to Farming UK.
Located 50 miles southwest of Amsterdam and known for its innovative and urban farming facilities, Rotterdam city officials are hoping to also make room for a floating chicken farm and greenhouse in the near future.
Not planning a trip to the Netherlands anytime soon? Check out these videos of the floating dairy:
RT nowthisnews "This is the world's first floating dairy farm pic.twitter.com/pg2CY8edCB"— Cho (@konedriver) September 12, 2018
The highlight of the trip for me so far visiting a floating dairy - what an idea! We were some of the first people to see the floating dairy in action with cows arriving earlier this week.— Rural Youth Project (@RYP2018) May 17, 2019
Feeling incredibly inspired by this innovation. @The_RHASS @scotent @JCMandCo pic.twitter.com/qHAyH0fGs5