A $2.7 million upgrade to its Woolnorth, Tasmania, dairy The Gums will enable Moon Lake to increase the farm’s capacity and efficiency.
The Gums’ 50-bail rotary, located across the road from the new site, was replaced with a new 60-bail rotary platform, expanding the dairy’s potential by about 20 per cent.
Almost a year in planning and construction, The Gums new platform is ready for milking once calving has finished.
Moon Lake acting general manager Hugo Avery said the company had been making continual improvements to its Tasmanian dairies over the past few years.
“By moving to this site we can now centralise the farm a little bit more,” Mr Avery said.
An adjacent 75-hectare block will soon be added to The Gums to increase its size to 368 hectares and milking capacity from just under 1000 cows to about 1200.
“It’s never really been part of this farm, but over the next year or so we will be integrating that block into this farm and we’ll probably do a couple a boundary realignments on River Downs next door to even things up a bit and increase efficiency,” he said.
Daviesway won the tender to manage The Gums upgrade, with Nico Polato managing the building of new laneways, an effluent system and new fences to modernise the dairy.
The above-ground effluent storage facility was built to ensure no leaching from the pond and storage area into the ground.
“We’ve made it hold four megalitres, which is four Olympic-sized pools. That effluent is constantly agitated and will be spread out across 100 hectares of irrigation,” Mr Avery said.
Daviesway Warragul manager Greg Lecht said the new dairy platform allowed better control of the herd and was fitted with built-in teat sprayers that sprayed immediately after the cows have been milked.
“It’s very efficient on power usage and should probably milk around 400 cows per hour,” Mr Lecht said.
The Gums dairy platform fabrication and milking machinery was built at Daviesway’s Warragul, Victoria, operation, with additional parts supplied by other contractors.
“We kept a lot of the business local, which is good, and Nico brought in the odd person," he said.
"The guys were here for about six weeks for our part on the milking machine.
"Nico was here scraping dirt through to the sign off last week.”
This upgrade project is part of Moon Lake’s commitment to invest $100 million over five years on its Tasmanian operations.
Moon Lake is close to achieving full Chinese organic farm certification for three dairy farms and is on track for Australian certification within two years.