– By Jennifer M. Latzke
The Kansas Department of Agriculture hosted the inaugural Dairy Industry and Technology Conference, May 19, at the Boot Hill Casino and Resort in Dodge City, Kansas. The meeting brought together the dairy industry leaders in the region to look at business development issues facing them, as well as hear updates on projects in the area.
Farmers heard from Alan McEntee of Dairy Farmers of America. McEntee is the manager of the DFA milk powder plant that’s currently under construction in Garden City, Kansas. McEntee said the plant should be able to take its first loads of milk in September 2017, and will run at full capacity by 2018.
At full capacity, the plant will be able to take in 80 to 85 loads of milk per day. It’s been designed for whole milk powder, but there is flexibility, he said, to switch to skim milk powder production. The evaporation process will generate about 4,000 gallons of water per day from the milk, which will be used by the city for industrial uses like irrigation.
McEntee said the completed facility will have an on-site laboratory to test its products. Currently, the plant is set up to fill 25-kilogram bags for pallets, as well as 1-ton bulk totes. It could also fill export containers, but at this point it’s difficult to get those empty export containers to Garden City from Kansas City, and the company is working with BNSF on the issue.
Lloyd Hylton, of Dean Foods, Dallas, Texas, then spoke about some of the trends his company is seeing in U.S. dairy consumption. Dean Foods is the largest processor and direct to the store distributor of fluid milk in the United States.
Dean Foods buys one out of every 10 tankers of milk produced each day in the U.S. That’s 1,100 tankers per day, or 400,000 tankers per year, or 45 tankers per hour or a load received every 80 seconds, Hylton said. It takes 925,000 cows to produce the milk required each day for Dean Foods products.
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