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Fonterra’s latest dairy farm in China will boast Kiwi technology, according to

After a partnership in Fonterra’s pilot farm in Tangshan Province, Milfos International has been contracted to equip the co-op’s commercial farm in Herbei Province, near Beijing.

The farm will feature a 50-unit double-up rapid-exit milking system and a 12-unit hospital parlour.

Cows will be milked three times per day and housed in barns, free to roam between milking and feeding times.

Milfos managing director Jamie Mikkelson says ensuring quality and performance while managing risk have been driving factors throughout the entire process.

Milfos will supply its iConverter technology which ‘snap’ chills milk from 34°C to 4°C for bulk storage. This underpins milk hygiene by lowering the bacteria count.

“The iConverter system is 30% more efficient than competitor products,” Mikkelson says. “This results in huge power savings for a 24-hour operation.”

The iConverter also produces 12,000L of 85°C ‘free’ hot water per day. Given that ambient winter temperature is -25°C, the free hot water is useful for heating the milking parlour and yards using radiators.

Mikkelson describes this as “a bit of Kiwi ingenuity”.

The milking system is designed for low maintenance and high throughput; 500 cows are expected to be milked per hour.

That’s 9000 milkings per day or about 3.2 million per year so the operation is on a truly industrial scale, Mikkelson says.

Milk production from each cow is measured at every milking. Operators are alerted to any cow suspected of mastitis or illness.

The plant has automation and energy saving devices which lower the farm’s energy ‘footprint’.

Production of the equipment is underway for shipping by the end of March. The installation will be supported by New Zealand technicians and Milfos Chinese management and technical staff.

When Fonterra set up its trial farm in Tangshan in 2007, Milfos played a key role in the delivery and installation of milking, stalling and cooling technologies.

The farm’s 3000 cows now produce 25 mL of milk annually. The Tangshan farm is said to produce the highest quality milk in China and to be held in high regard for animal husbandry and practice.

Fonterra general manager international milk sourcing and operations Peter Moore says the farm expansion further strengthens Fonterra’s capacity to deliver a secure and sustainable supply of fresh dairy products for Chinese customers and consumers.

The dairy industry in China is expected to grow from $22 billion to $71 billion by 2020, Mikkelson says. – Report by


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