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Milk Production in Cows – A Guide to High Quality Milk

Your quick guide to how cows produce quality milk and when they produce it.

How much expertise goes into the production of quality milk? The quality of milk we give our children is of paramount importance to us, because it affects their growth and development. Every aspect of caring for a cow factors into the superiority of her milk. 


When do cows produce milk? Cows go through a 10-month lactation cycle after giving birth. More importantly, these cows produce quality milk only if they are adequately cared for. 


In FrieslandCampina member farms in the Netherlands, multi-generational families of farmers dedicate themselves to understanding and meeting the unique needs of each cow. In these farms, Holstein-Friesian cows, which are a superior breed of dairy cow, are selectively bred and pasture raised.

Working together with a feed advisor to optimise the composition of the feed, farmers closely monitor important elements like each cow's health status and adjust these cows’ bespoke feeds accordingly.  

Neck Sensor

Individual tagging helps farmers better understand the nutritional needs of each cow, which is influenced by factors like how much milk each individual cow produces and its stage of lactation. This information, together with scientifically proven models used by feed advisors, is used to fine-tune the cow feed, which supplements the nutrition cows receive from grazing in pastures.  

Besides the state of a cow's health, the seasons are factored into the preparation of its customised feed too, as the production and nutritional composition of grass in the Netherlands is influenced by the weather and seasons. Cow feed comprises of roughage, which can consist of fresh grass, grass silage, maize silage and concentrate. This feed is often supplemented with vitamin and minerals to compose a complete ration for the cows, tailored to each cow’s nutritional needs.  


In order to ensure optimum safety, quality and sustainability, the farming practices and processes of these farms are all tightly regulated by the Foqus Planet Program, which comprises strict standards that are monitored by a group of assessors. 

This is how FrieslandCampina member farms are able to ensure that high milk quality is achieved with a desired nutrient composition, from which we derive NOVAS Signature Milk.

Thanks to technology that helps us closely monitor dairy cows and tailor their feeds, these cows are able to produce superior milk consistently. Healthy cows that are fed optimally, based on their unique needs at that point in time, and raised in optimal conditions, so that they produce a high quantity of milk with high quality. 

The story of NOVAS Signature Milk is one of togetherness — of a dedicated group of farmers who care for their cows based on each cow’s specific requirements. 

This meticulous process warrants a great deal of time and effort, but our labours pay off when all our cows can safely produce high-quality milk that goes into our NOVAS Signature Milk.