With good automation and good management they increased the production per hour from 1200 litres to 1800 litres
- Agrargesellschaft Kandelin GmbH is owned by six share holders
- Milkings per day: 2
- Milking system: 2 x 20 Herringbone Endurance
- Cooling: Pre-cooling with plate heat exchanger and well water and then sublimation in cooling tank
- Milk delivered: twice per day
- Current milk price: 22,0 €/100 kg (Sept 2009)
- Total milk yield: 7.5 million tonnes/year
- Milking 1800 litre/hour
- 3,94 % fat , 3,3 % protein
- Somatic cell count, SCC: 225.000
- Total bacteria count: 10.000
The Agrar Kandelin farm was formerly an East German co-operative, but in 1990 a share holding with six share holders was formed.
During the planning phase for the new barn that was built in 2004 the owners visited the US to see what they could learn from them. They decided to go for a double 20 herringbone Endurance.
The cows are housed in a free-stall barn of boxes with rubber mats and dry bedding. The barn is ventilated and there is water sprinkling on the feed alley.
The cows are fed a total mixed ration, and the concentrate contains soya, rape-seed, fat and minerals. Forage is corn and grass silage. Feed cost is 0, 19 € / l milk , and 0, 06 € / l milk is purchased. They grow 4 300 ha crop and grassland. They use no irrigation but intensive fertilising. There is no grazing.
From their production they sell grain, rape-seed and power (from the two biogas plants). They also keep pigs, and sell pig and beef meat. 40% of the manure is processed in the biogas plants and the digestate is used as bio-fertilizer.
In addition to the 812 milking cows the herd also consists of 200 female and 200 male calves, and 860 heifers. The replacement is 30% and the average age of the cows is 49 months. The average lactation length is 326 days.
To keep track of the cows they use ALPRO Windows herd management system.
Good management of the farm is very important, and everything is well-tuned in order to reduce cost and improve efficiency. The farm has a total of 60 employees, with six milkers working in eight hour shifts, two milkers at a time. The milkers receive training, and they went on a study trip to the United States to look at working routines on a very good farm. They managed to increase the production per hour from 1200 litres to 1800 litres. The employees are also continuously encouraged to contribute with improvement ideas.
In 2011 they plan to build a new barn with 300 cubicles, and to increase the milk quota to 10-11 Million.
A third biogas plant will also be constructed and they want to improve the cow comfort, intensify the production, and improve the cost management.