Dairy Farm “Europe” is a project which our companies group has been implementing since 2002. From the very beginning our aim is to analyze technologies and techniques offered by European and world producers. EuroAgro specialists have a long experience in the industry. We have worked with minimum 3 milking equipment producers, whose products we had to deliver, install and support. Based on this experience we aim at optimal solutions for a farm as a whole as well as for every single element of the system.
A successful dairy farm (dairy complex) project incorporates the following features:
1. Careful planning and design
2. Housing: barn type, housing type – cold or isolated.
3. Milking equipment – milking parlour type and dimensions
4. Milk cooling
5. Feed preparation and distribution
6. Stall equipment, allocation and dimensions of stalls, bedding type
7. Ventilation system
8. Manure removal and storage
9. Herd watering system
Ultimately we have refused to buy the full spectrum of equipment from one and the same producer, because analysis shows that they are more successful in producing and developing only one kind of goods and less successful with the other ones in the list above. That is why we have decided to cooperate with the companies who build their equipment and specialize in a particular sphere. A deep knowledge of the technique, careful planning and designing system as a whole results in success.
DESIGN: As to design, our permanent partner in this field is “FermMash”, who specialize in dairy farms and complexes design. The design group “FermMash” collaborates with nearly all the dairy equipment market participants, thanks to what they have acquired many-sided experience.
FORAGE PREPARATION: The choice of feeding system that corresponds to our concept of a dairy farm as well as producer of chopping-mixing machines was rather easy for us. Since 2002 we work together with SEKO, the producer of Samurai chopping-mixing machines. Their recognition as certain leaders in forage preparation was an outcome of tests for biggest European producers conducted by Vakkola, a Finnish equipment testing laboratory. Nowadays hundreds of Samurais work in Russia.
MILKING EQUIPMENT: Having experience with milking equipment of different companies we used the following criteria in choosing the producer: European quality – innovative products – competitive price. Finally, we have opted for Milkline, the Italian producer of milking equipment. By the time we established business relations Milkline have already entered Russian Market and installed several milking parlours for Belgorod branch of Inteko-Agro. Having conducted negotiations in Bologna in autumn 2004 we concluded a dealer contract and since 2005 we have been promoting Milkline equipment in Russia. We have already created a service team and a pare parts warehouse both in the Central Region and in other regions where we install milking parlours.
MILK COOLING: The choice for the Dairy Farm “Europe” project was made as early as in 2002. Our analysis of different milk cooling systems showed that the overwhelming majority of the producers offer direct expansion tanks, while Packo, the Belgian company has direct expansion tanks, but there are tanks with built-in ice builder, the so-called ice water cooling system. The system provides for quick primary milk cooling in a mild manner, thus being an integral part of the concept for “Dairy Farm Europe”.
STALL EQUIPMENT: This matter is more complicated than it seems to be. The client in Russia can choose between ordering stalls produced in Germany, Denmark, France and Italy and producing them on his own with a tube bender right on site. The complexity lies in the price: stalls for 1000 cows dairy complex may cost the customer RUR7-15 mil. It is worthy of note that the cheapest variant may be the most expensive solution, as in a few years corrosion can destroy the stalls causing their full change. Here our task was to choose a cost-effective product of European quality. Our research has led us to Wilarus, an affiliated company of European leader. The high quality standard of the stalls produced in Russia is maintained by DeBoer, a Dutch group of companies.
VENTILATION SYSTEM: The main ventilation solutions are automatic and natural ventilation. The automatic one can reduce season temperature fluctuations, balance inside temperature in a barn as well as air humidity. But its use results in high energy costs. We have counted on natural ventilation and chose UBA, a Swedish company who is a leader in ADJUSTABLE natural ventilation.
MANURE REMOVAL AND UTILIZATION: The mail criteria to choose such a system were reliability, suitability for different climate zones and ecological friendliness. We have refused from delta scraper combined with liquid manure storage in lagoons. The reasons for that are the following: the scraper does not cope with much bedding, can be affected by low temperatures; apart from that the storage system is not environment friendly, it moves the farm 500-1000 meters away from people and results in additional costs. The solution we offer is manure removal by a tractor to a temporary storage area. This system has proved to be effective in cold Canadian climate (that is similar to the Russian one) and is widely used by local farmers. One of its advantages is to move farms closer to residential area and water supply point.
WATERING SYSTEM: There are several solutions to water a herd: overturned metallic, floating-type plastic waterers and open-type plastic waterers with heating. Having analyzed the advantages and disadvantages of different systems we chose open-type plastic waterers with heating and water circulation for Dairy Farm Europe. The cause for that is demand of high productive cows for big amount of water. As Miraco, USA could offer a good solution for our project their waterers have become a part of the concept.
SELECTION: When an investor accomplishes constructing a farm he faces a problem of cattle breeding. What characteristics do modern dairy animals have? This question is unfortunately asked too late. In 2004 we have begun collaboration with Viking Genetics, the Swedish Cattle Breeding Association who are European leaders in selection of healthy and productive animals. We have participated in several big and successful projects of the Association to deliver Swedish bull semen to Russia. The success of projects is the reason why we consider Swedish selection as a leader in increasing animal productive longetivity. So, we gamble to Swedish selection, because it assures healthy and hardy breed with big potential for milk fat and protein.
Dairy Farm Europe is not a copy of the existing concept in Europe but formation process for a form a XXI century farm. We attract and use innovative and cost-effective technologies that allow for payback of the project to the investor. The opinion about Russia’s movement towards international tendency to build mega farms is not right. There is an international tendency to bigger farms, and Russia is already one of the leaders in animal quantity at one farm. Our task in the situation is to choose technologies and teach milk producers efficient use of the technologies for the welfare of both people and animals. We will be glad to inform you about implemented projects and those that are under implementation in the framework of Dairy Farm Europe through your Informational Agency.
Aleks Jatsoun, the Chairman of Directors Board of EuroAgro companies group.