Large part is exported
The annual per capita consumption of milk amounts to 37.3 kg of milk equivalence, which is low compared to other developed countries.
With prolonged periods of heat in Turkey, a large percentage of their liquid milk production is exported in UHT form to Europe, the Middle East and the USA. A massive farm restructuring programme has been going on in Turkey since the 1980s but more recently in 2010 the Turkish Agricultural Bank offered long-term loans with zero interest rates for dairy and feeding cow breeders in order to support that sector. With that incentive, a number of large scale farms have emerged, as well as the number of dairy processing businesses, especially in the Izmir region, in the west coast of the country facing the Aegean Sea.
48 cows is big
Among the bigger of the dairy farms in the region is Titar Dairy Farm run by Mehmet Dogan, who has a range of other projects going on backed up by the Turkish government and other investors. This farm is currently milking 1,000 Holstein cows and has 2,000 more dry cows, heifer replacements and bulls for fattening. It's quite a large scale operation with 48 cows being milked at a time cows in the Herringbone parlour. Deep wells keep the place supplied of water and some of the manure is used in the biogas plants to produce energy.
The cows are milked three times per day resulting in an average yield of 30 litres per cow per day. Mehmet has 50 staff on the farm with some of them involved in mixing the rations for the animals.
Cost of production
Milking cows are fed a mix of corn silage, alfalfa, soya, oil by-products, sunflower and barley. In total, it takes 30 tons of feed per day to feed the entire herd on Titar farm. The milk runs at 3.4% Protein and 4.2% Butterfat commanding a price of 1.2 Turkish Lira per litre (€0.35). Mehmet's cost of production is around 0.95 Turkish Lira per litre (€0.28) leaving him with a profit of 0.25 Turkish Lira per litre (€0.07).