Cattle in the vicinity of the city of Batavia, in may also benefit from the opening of a new yogart plant.
The new Müller Quaker Dairy plant, a joint venture of New York-based PepsiCo and Germany-based Theo Müller Group opened its doors this week to the delight of locals seeking employment but also local farmers.
According to Andrew Novakovic, agricultural economist at Cornell, farmers could benefit from a waste product of Greek, or strained, yogurt production: acid whey. Plants are giving this watery stuff away as a cattle feed additive or crop fertilizer because it can’t be dumped down the drain legally without significant treatment costs.
“From a farmers perspective, this is like free food for my cows. It’s not the world’s greatest food, but it’s just that much less that you have to buy,” Novakovic said.
Tristan Zuber, cultured milk and yogurt specialist for Cornell’s Cooperative Extension, added, “Corn prices were so high last year that feeding whey was a good alternative because it was cheaper.
Local dairy farmers see the new plant as a win win - a buyer for their milk plus benefit from the waste product as a cattle feed.