Bigger and better

The official opening of Moon Lake’s Gums Dairy was held last Wednesday. Pictured are Blair Murray, Dan Sutton and Nigel Pedley. Photo courtesy of Alyssia Coates.

Woolnorth. Moon Lake has officially opened its newly upgraded $2.7 million Gums Dairy.

The new fully automated modern dairy is set to significantly increase production on the dairy, and has the capacity to expand production into the future.

Operations manager Hugo Avery said the completion of the dairy underlined Moon Lake’s ongoing confidence in the industry and its commitment to invest in improving the financial and environmental sustainability of the business.

“The new dairy design includes environmental features that will significantly reduce leaching of nutrients into the soil and allow us to use recycled water to better irrigate the farm,” he said.

Gums Dairy has been increased in size to 368 hectares and is targeted to produce 471,538 kilograms of milk solids from 1100 cows – an increase of about 25,000 kilograms of milk solids on production for 2017.

“Gums is now a fully automated modern dairy,” Mr Avery said. “It has been constructed to handle future increased productivity and has the capacity to handle more than 1200 cows.”

Increased in size by 75 hectares, the dairy was built on a greenfield site that is more centralised for the farm. An above ground effluent tank with four million litres’ capacity was also installed.

“This means no leaching of nutrients into the soil,” Mr Avery said.

“We have also put in effluent mains that allow 95 hectares to be irrigated, which is much more than is normally done. This in turn means a much lower chance of nutrient build up in the soil and a lower risk of nutrient run off caused by over application.”

A new cloud-based program called Halo Technology is being used to provide real time data as well as automatic alerts to give the farmer more informed knowledge to better manage the farm’s environmental licence.

Gums’ Easy Dairy equipment was installed by Daviesway and local contractors were engaged to build laneways, effluent systems and new fences associated with the modernisation of the dairy shed.

Moon Lake is close to achieving full Chinese organic farm certification for three of its dairy farms and is on track to achieve Australian certification within the next two years.

The company has entered into agreements with other companies to produce organic UHT milk and a range of yoghurt and powder products under the Van Dairy brand for the Chinese market.

In 2017 VAN Milk strengthened its presence in China by opening new offices in four key cities: Shanghai, Beijing, Ningbo and Hangzhou.

The company’s focus for 2018 is on development and export of a range of new dairy products.

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