Thursday, 17 October 2019 09:55

New sheep milk dryer takes shape

Written by  Mark Daniel
Left to right Jamie Strange MP, Craig Hoare, Melody Dairies, Angie Warren, Clark MP. Left to right Jamie Strange MP, Craig Hoare, Melody Dairies, Angie Warren, Clark MP.

Waikato Innovation Park, at Hamilton, soon home to another spray dryer, recently hosted Labour politicians and other visitors.

Dairy News spoke to Labour MPs Jamie Strange and Angie Warren-Clark, at the Park, where they applauded the expansion of its milk drying capacity.

After running its first spray dryer for about eight years, owners Melody Dairies has started work on dryer number 2, expecting to finish it by year end and start full production by Apr/May 2020. Full capacity will be about 1.2 tonnes/hour – 2.4 times greater than the existing unit.

The $50 million Melody Dairies plant is being developed by Pamu (formerly Landcorp), Nu-Mega Ingredients, Dairy Nutraceuticals and Food Waikato, each holding 35%, 35%, 20% and 10% respectively.

Business development manager Craig Hoare said the new dryer will process milk from Spring Sheep New Zealand and eventually from other suppliers. It will help the company to develop early-life nutrition products for export. 

Its output is expected to rise to $130 million of sheep milk exports and its employee numbers from the current 17 to 35.

The market for sheep milk products is estimated to be $11.6 billion at the farmgate and $47b at retail. 

Asia is a key market and sheep milk products are also popular in France, Spain, Greece and the Netherlands. Consumers like their digestibility, nutrition and taste, and they suit people with (cow milk) lactose intolerance and dairy protein allergies.

Much of the growth in sheep milk production in NZ over the last few years has been furthered by high-performance genetics from Europe. 

While NZ sheep produce 100-150L of milk each season – making the model financially challenging – first-generation crosses are said to be on target to produce 300L as hoggets and 400L when fully grown, with no increase in environmental impact.

Said Jamie Strange: “This dryer is a significant investment in the Waikato region, providing economic growth for our economy”. 

“I am excited to see the development of the sheep milk industry in particular. There is huge potential to increase our exports of this.”

More like this

Backing farmers long term

OPINION: I'm extremely proud of the ongoing high performance of our primary sector, and to be part of a Government that is backing farming for the long term.

Capital cock-up

The effects of Labour’s spectacular own-goal in its second major sex scandal are set to drag on.

Sheep, goat dairy farmers must aim to export

Waikato Milking Systems product and project manager Andy Geissmann believes there’s plenty of scope for Kiwis working in the emerging sheep and goat dairy sectors to export.

» The RNG Weather Report


Soil moisture: no more looking over the fence

Farm manager Bryan Mitchell describes as brilliant the SCADAfarm systems that allow him to remotely monitor and manage the irrigation of his 300ha of leased grazing land near Kirwee.


Separation gives constant result

Effluent separation offers a number of unique advantages, and opportunities that other systems don’t offer, says farm equipment manufacturer Rakaia Engineering Ltd (REL) Group.

Cultivating the right way

Cultivation of paddocks is common on farms at this time of year. It’s also a time when local storms may occur, adding substantial risk to an important farming practice.

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Angry as usual

The usual culprits are angry at hearing last week that the Government and the agri sector will work together to…

Vladimir the dairy farmer

Russian President Vladimir Putin is a master tactician in taking advantage of international conflicts.

» Connect with Dairy News