A Dutch floating dairy farm could be the future of livestock

Photo from Floating Farm

In a bid to achieve a more sustainable source of milk and beef, a Dutch couple created a floating micro-dairy farm rising and falling along tides in the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

The increasing frequency of extreme weather events, flooding, and drought continues to aggravate the conditions of different farms across the globe. From having an almost definite planting calendar before, farmers are increasingly caught unprepared by the complex uncertainties that throw off their previous practices.

Following the constant threat of flooding and sea level rise, a real estate developer couple in the Netherlands innovated with a nearly 10,000-square-meter floating platform primarily driven by artificial intelligence (AI). The hi-tech dairy farm near the port of Rotterdam is called Floating Farm and houses around 40 cows. The farm has three levels; the top level where cows live and are robotically milked and fed, the middle level where milk is processed into a variety of dairy products and seawater is desalinated and purified, and the lower level used for ripening up to 1,000 wheels of gouda-style cheese.

Aside from reducing the tension of land squeeze in urban communities, the floating dairy farm also helps bring fresh dairy products to Rotterdam’s trading center, reducing carbon emissions associated with food transportation.

According to environmental and architectural experts, the concept of floating farms is already ripe for reproduction. As cities continue to think of ways to adapt to the rising sea level and the constant threat of flooding, floating farms may help in ensuring food security. 


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