Milk for sale! Vice-chancellor Maria Wedel has inaugurated the new milk vending machine on SLU's campus in Ultuna. Formas, Beijerstiftelsen and Stiftelsen Seydlitz MP bolagen support an ongoing research project at Swedish Livestock Research Centre at SLU in Uppsala, where calves stay together with the cows in the dairy herd for several months during lactation.
In the project, Professor Sigrid Agenäs and her colleagues evaluate how the cows' total milk quantity, health, behaviour and fertility are affected by their staying together with the calf and how the heifer calves born in the project become dairy cows. A clear objective of the research project is to design a system to integrate calves with cows in systems for automatic milking. The project will also evaluate sustainability regarding feed efficiency, greenhouse gases and farm profitability.
With the goal that the research should be relevant for commercial farms, Stiftelsen Seydlitz MP bolagen also provides support to SLU to sell the milk on a trial basis. The milk costs SEK 42/litre and the higher price is needed because the cows that suckle their calves give less milk to the milk tank, and the separate handling of the milk, in this case, is time-consuming. Also, the price is set to match that of milk from farms with a similar production system in the local area. The income from the sales goes back into the project. The milk is pasteurized but not homogenized and has a fat content of just over 4 percent.
Photo: Mårten Granert-Gärdfeldt.