Experiencing innovative farming at the Koeweidehof

Bart Vanderstraeten and Marijke D’Hertefelt run the Koeweidehof in Merchtem, together with Bart’s parents, Leo and Annie. In addition to raising 200 cows, they grow Belgian endives and potatoes. For an authentic farming experience, theirs is the place to be. Savour and enjoy mouth-watering farm produce from their vending machine or farm shop. Book an original Farm Fun teambuilding. Or have your kids enjoy a wonderful farmhouse camping experience during the summer holidays.

Three generations of hard work made the farm into what it is today. 

The Koeweidehof is a prime example of a contemporary and high-tech dairy farm. Bart and Marijke started managing the Koeweidehof in 2012. From day one onwards, they were always on the lookout for technological advances to make their farm as sustainable as possible.

They purchased their first pocket digester way back in 2013, to convert the manure from their cows into energy. They have since replaced it with a new, bigger version. Not only does it make them energy self-sufficient, but it also provides green and local electricity to many neighbourhood families and the Brussels Beer Project brewery, via the Bolt platform.

The Koeweidehof is characterized by a high degree of automation and innovation. Pedometers are used to monitored the cows’ health. Milking robots allow cows to be milked whenever they want, throwing some tasty ‘treats’ into the bargain. The big, rotating cow brushes offer wonderful massages. 

The so-called ‘kitchen’, a storage place with cattle feed, is fully automated, as well.  A robot puts together the perfect menu, adding all the ingredients into the mixing container. Next, the feeding robot transports it towards the cows. Doing the rounds 24/7, the robot makes sure the cows will want for nothing. This robot lets Bart and Marijke manage their cattle feed and resources more economically. 

Water is also used sparingly and efficiently. 150,000 litres of rain water is collected to water the fields. As the fields are sprayed by a GPS-steered tractor, accidentally spraying the same strip twice and wasting water is no longer a problem.

“Consumers are increasingly looking to buy products from honest, transparent and sustainable origins and production cycles. Thanks to a whole range of efforts and innovations, dairy farming, too, can be an important partner in the climate battle. We produce our milk with great consideration for the environment and the climate and for well-being of our cows.”

Bart & Marijke, Koeweidehof Merchtem

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