Dairy farm installs largest rotary parlour in China

By: Chris McCullough

A dairy farm in China has installed the largest rotary milking parlour in the country to milk a herd of 10,000 cows

Strong demand for fresh milk in China has seen a growth in the number of bigger farms and in the investment of high-tech equipment to milk the cows.


There are more than 6.2 million dairy cows in China producing around 32 million metric tonnes of fresh milk per year. One of the largest farms in the country is Lvyuan farm situated at Lianyungang in the Jiangsu Province, regarded as China’s leading producer of raw milk, which is home to 10,000 cows. The new parlour is a GEA T8900 system, part of the DairyRotor series, which has a capacity of 80 cows milking them three times per day.

Also, the first of its kind in the Asia-Pacific region, the new T8900 parlour was ordered by Lvyuan at the end of 2019 with the goal of using it by mid-January of 2020.

Bright Xiong, head of service, GEA China, says, "As soon as the customer found more land and decided to expand in the northern part of the country, they contacted us and we suggested they consider the GEA DairyRotor T8900 rotary parlour. Even though it had not yet been released in China, Lvyuan agreed to become the first farm there to install one."

With just one month to complete the installation and commissioning, the team of GEA colleagues from Germany and China collaborated during an intense period running right up to Christmas 2019 to ensure the customer could begin production by the Chinese New Year in 2020.

Farm owner Lu Guangqun has confirmed the project was a success and reports that all basic milking functions are stable and the T8900 is working efficiently. Around 70% of the milk consumed in China is ultra-heat-treated, which means it can last for months. The heat process does impart a slightly different taste when compared to fresh milk.

Today, there’s an increasing demand for fresh milk in China, therefore, manufacturers and processors are looking for Chinese dairy farms that can provide high-quality fresh milk rather than continuing to import it from overseas. Mark Smyth, GEA head of country support, greater China, says that a product like the T8900 fits the growing market perfectly.

"This milking rotary parlour is especially developed for medium-sized to large commercial farms," he said. "It’s capable of operating for up to 22 hours a day. Because the number of cows on these farms is so large and they’re milking the cows three times a day, the rotary needs to deliver uncompromising reliability and the T8900 does that.

"All system components of the T8900 are extremely durable and designed to withstand the demands of continuous operation. Moreover, the T8900’s robust stainless-steel surfaces are easy to clean.

"There are many customers in Europe and North America who are already successfully milking with the T8900 and now GEA begins rolling out this parlour in Asia in the upcoming months to meet the demands of the market," he says.

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