Major Russian dairy producer Rusmolco, subsidiary of Olam International, plans to finish the construction of a major dairy complex in Penza Oblast designed for 5,200 dairy cows in the fourth quarter of 2020, Elena Firsova, spokeswoman for Rusmolco told Dairy Global.
The first stage of the dairy complex has been launched in March of 2020. The dairy farm for 5,200 cows will consist of seven cow barns, four calf barns, a milk room with two rotary milking parlors, the company said. The farm comprises a feed warehouse, trenches for silage and haylage.
The new dairy farm is an example of introducing new technologies, Firsova said. All production processes are integrated into a unified IT system allowing monitoring permanently all the types of production processes. An innovative system of preparation for milking gives a chance to increase the milk production, she added.
Covid-19 pandemic – no impact
Rusmolco has managed to avoid a negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on its business, according to Firsova. During the nationwide lockdown introduced to slow down the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country, the company continued manufacturing raw milk and seeding crops, while adhering to the strict sanitary measures, Firsova added.
Russian count of Covid-19 cases bypassed 600,000 late June, with the daily toll ranging between 6,800 and 11,000 during the past few months. All food companies were allowed to continue operation during the nationwide holiday from March 28 to May 12, when most companies producing and selling non-essential goods were prescribed to stop operation.
Olam International gains a foothold in Russia
Rusmolco embarked on major investment plans shortly after Olam International had consolidated 100% company's shares in mid-2019. The company plans to continue implementing the investment program, under which the dairy farm in Penza Oblast will be expanded to 7,200 cows by 2021, the company's officials announced in March.
In 2019, the company said that its eventual target is to double raw milk production in Russia, in order to become the country's third-biggest milk producer.
No VR headsets
On another note: In December of 2019, several media reported that Rusmolco had given its dairy cows virtual reality headsets in a bid to reduce their anxiety and improve productivity. It was reported that the herd donned VR systems adapted for the structural features of cow heads and were shown a unique summer field simulation program to improve the herd's emotional mood. Those reports appeared to be a fake. Rusmolco has nothing to do with the news about using VR for controlling cows' mood, Firsova said.