|A used but fully functional bulk tank acts as a portable repository for waste milk.
With calves raised off-site by a heifer grower, getting rid of waste milk from fresh and treated cows is no longer an issue for Funks Midway Dairy, Melrose, Minn.
John Funk and sons Greg, Jeff and Karl refurbished a used 450-gal. bulk tank and slid it into the bed of a Ford F-150 pickup truck. Protected by a specially built, spray-insulated shell, the bulk tank is now a portable storage unit for the waste milk.
Unsalable milk from fresh and treated cows from the dairy's 570-cow herd is pumped into the tank at each milking. Then, two or three times a week, the Funks simply drive the truck and bulk tank to their heifer grower, who is located a mile away.
The milk from the Funks' portable tank is off-loaded into the heifer grower's tank and is then batch pasteurized as needed to feed the calves.
The grower usually has 70 heifer and bull calves on milk at any one time. Each calf receives 2½ qt. of milk per feeding, requiring about 600 gal. of milk per week. If the Funks are short on waste milk, they'll milk a high-cell-count cow or two into the portable tank.
Collecting and transporting the waste milk solves a number of problems for the dairymen.
First, the waste milk can be saved and utilized, rather than simply discarded into the lagoon.
And after pasteurization, it provides a safe, low-cost feed source for the calves. "Our grower has only had to add milk replacer twice in the last two years,” Karl says.