As for me and my house we will serve the Lord....

Monday, November 14, 2016

The price of milk

Today we raised the price of milk to our milk buyers to an all time high - 6 grivna a liter (about 24 cents US). We have been telling you for two years that the price of everything we buy has risen dramatically here in Ukraine, but the price we can get for our milk has not really changed, so what is different?

Last week Max got a phone call from the truck that buys milk in the village offering six grivna a liter to come and buy our milk, so the regular buyers who come with their cans in their vans were notified that they should pay that much if they want the milk. Of course it will be much less work for our workers if one truck comes to pick up all the milk, but we gave the regulars a chance to keep buying milk for the same price, since some of them have been buying our milk for six years.

We we wondering if the market price had gone up because one of the buyers, Katya had come to the house last week complaining that Yana (our milker lady who has become barn manager) wouldn't sell her enough milk. That often means that the resale price is more profitable, but with so many dry cows in the herd right now, everyone has been cut back to share the production equally, so we weren't sure until the phone call.

It is likely that the price is rising because there is less milk for sale now in Ukraine.  Now that it is fall there is always less milk made because production is seasonal here, with most of the people in the village with one or two cows only selling excess milk to the trucks in the summertime. In addition, after low prices for the last two years, many people with a few cows have decided to sell their animals because they have not been making a profit from the milk.
Yana in the new barn 

Last month, after moving to the new barn, Garry thought that we would stop selling small amounts to people who used to come in at any time of day to buy a couple liters for drinking or cheese making at home. Instead they decided that milk will only be sold to people (except the big buyers) during the afternoon milking (around one o'clock) for a higher price than the others pay- eight grivna closer to the market price (which did not change today).

Cleaning after milking, you have never seen a cleaner parlor

Here's a few pictures for the dairy farmers to see of the new barn set up, the equipment room, and milking parlor. It has been winterized since I took the photos last month, so you wouldn't see the outdoors around the compressor if you went there today! The wall that was removed to put the milk tank inside the milk house has been insulated and re-caulked to get ready for winter, too.

Same milk tank, new hot water heaters

compressor, vacuum pump

The red and blue containers are the pipeline chemicals
for cleaning. 
Before milking, each cow's udder is cleaned with an individual use cloth. They are washed in the washing machine in this photo and used damp to wipe the cows. They are microfibre, we bought some at Nova Lene that are sold for cars, and they get very dry during the spin cycle, in fact they are stuck all over the washer drum when you open it up.
milk going in the tank, we could use a cover with a hole
for the line to stick through yet

The dry cows (ones not milking and getting ready to give birth)  are in the "old" barn here by the house and Garry and Yana both check on them several times a day. I addition a couple of students are working in the barn, cleaning and feeding each day, so they are watching for something exciting to happen while they are there. Yesterday morning when Garry checked on them before we went to church, he came in and said one cow was leaking milk, and when we got home last night Yana stopped in to say she had a heifer calf while we were gone. She also said the water wasn't working in the old barn and she had come to the house to get a bucket of water for the fresh cow.

Yana likes the curly hair on the new heifer calf

 Garry went out to see and was pleased that all had gone well and the cow had already cleaned (expelled the afterbirth or placenta).He also got the water working again in the barn, by jiggling the control, luckily because we need a new flashlight.. This was the second fresh cow this month, and there are about ten more cows due to calve this month, so we will be making more milk to sell soon. Of course, Garry says that there are ten more milking in the barn who are giving very little, so they could/should be dry.

No comments:

Post a Comment