Keep it cool: Chill milk as it leaves the robot

Milk cooler sales can tell you a lot about the state of the North American milk industry.

As U.S. dairy farmers continue to struggle with low prices resulting from oversupply of fluid milk, sales of cooling systems reflect these challenging times in the marketplace. Mike Kelley, regional sales manager for Mueller Dairy Farm Equipment, says his company actually sold more milk coolers in Canada last year, which is only about 12 per cent the size of the U.S. market.

Kelley says the strong Canadian demand is linked to a number of factors, such as expanding fluid milk quota and an industry that benefits from the stability of from supply management. This gives farmers confidence to expand and invest, Kelley says.

Robotic milkers are playing a key role in much of the expansion. That’s prompted his company to increase their focus on attending to the cooling technology needs for robots. This week at the Canadian Dairy XPO in Stratford, ON, Mueller unveiled its new HiPer-Cool A5 – a digital capacity-controlled chiller designed specifically for robot dairies.

In this video, Kelley explains that the HiPer-Cool A5 improves milk quality by instantly cooling milk to 3 degrees C as soon as it leaves the robot stall. “What we’re trying to do is cool the milk as quickly as possible,” he says. The instant cool helps manage bacteria and reduces fatty acids breakdown in the milk “which improves the actual productivity of the fluid milk at processing.”

Seven HiPer-Cool units are now operating on farms in Alberta and Kelly expects they’ll be appearing on farms across Canada in the near future.

Watch as Mike Kelly explains how the HiPer-Cool A5 instantly cools milk at the robot stall:

 

Bernard Tobin

Bernard Tobin is Real Agriculture's Ontario Field Editor. AgBern was raised on a dairy farm near St. John's, Newfoundland. For the past two decades, he has specialized in agricultural communications. A Ryerson University journalism grad, he kicked off his career with a seven-year stint as Managing Editor and Field Editor for Farm and Country magazine. He has received six Canadian Farm Writers' Federation awards for journalism excellence. He's also worked for two of Canada's leading agricultural communications firms, providing public relations, branding and strategic marketing. Bern also works for Guelph-based Synthesis Agri-Food Network and talks the Real Dirt on Farming.

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