John Johnson of Colorado will soon be able to boast the largest dairy parlor in the world. What number does he have to hit to get the record? Not a double 75 or even 77. Nope, Johnson is building a double 80 parlor, which he predicts will output 800 cows per hour.
Combined with the parlor he’s operated for the past three years, which will be connected to the new barn, the dairy will milk about 9,000 cows three times a day, moving between 13 and 14 semi trailer loads of milk per day, or about 675,000 pounds of milk daily once it’s at full operation. That’s more than 72,600 gallons of milk a day.
About 50 percent of the milk produced in the state is marketed as fluid product with the other 50 percent going for powdered milk or cheese production. The state has moved up about four spots in the past few years to the 16th largest dairy state in the nation. But what is driving the growth of the industry is the fact that Colorado is now the top state in the nation in terms of milk production per cow. That’s due to the state’s year-round climate.
However, Johnson, 47, said today’s dairy industry is not about a local or national market, but more of a world market. To compete in that market, Johnson said he wants to be involved in every aspect of his dairy, “from the time a calf is born to where the milk is going out the door.”