Degree Name

BS in Dairy Science


Dairy Science Department


Bruce Golden


The aim in this study was to determine whether implementing an on farm ultrafiltration system was profitable. Ultrafiltration was researched to reduce the amount of milk hauled from producer to processor. An ultrafiltration system involved milk that flowed through a semi-permeable membrane. Through this process water and small amounts of calcium and ash were pressured through the semi-permeable membrane. This permeate would then be able to feed heifers. The protein, fat, solids nonfat, and small amounts of calcium and ash were retained by the membrane. Through the process of ultrafiltration, raw milk was concentrated to three times its original concentration. With the use of ultrafiltration, the dairyman would need to one load of ultrafiltration milk instead of three loads of raw milk. The reduction in the cost of milk hauled and the feed presented to the heifers were the advantages in ultrafiltration. With the saved money on hauling and feeding of heifers, the initial costs of the system and the annual maintenance cost of the system exceed the benefits if implemented on De Groot Dairies. For the on farm ultrafiltration system to break even in ten years, the producer would need to be paid an additional $1.05 /cwt of retentate. This price included the reduced hauling cost and the money saved on the heifer ration. The difference in net present values on the costs of the system and the savings in permeate and hauling were -$5,072,770.24 over a 20 year period. Due to 87% water in milk, ultrafiltration needed to be examined. A dairyman should always look at his or her option to save money, wherever possible. With the data received from De Groot Dairies, the on-site ultrafiltration system would not be profitable when implementing the propose system at this time.