CHINA is building the biggest dairy farm in the world with 100,000 cows to supply Russia.
The enormous farm at Mudanjiang City in north-east China will have 60,000 more cows than the current biggest dairy farm, also in China.
Russia wants the milk as it is boycotting EU countries' dairy exports after Brussels imposed economic sanctions over the Ukraine crisis.
The farm is 50 times bigger than the biggest dairy farm in the UK - which has around 2000 cows - and three times bigger than the largest in the US, with 30,000 cows.
China's Zhongding Dairy Farming and Russia's Severny companies are behind the $241 million megadairy project.
Feed for the housed cows will be grown on 100,000ha, most of it in Russia.
Earlier this year, the EU extended economic sanctions because of Russia's involvement in the Ukraine conflict.
In response, Russia prolonged its ban on foods from the EU, US, Australia, Norway and Canada, including milk products, until August next year.
Before the Russian ban, the EU exported about 300,000 tonnes of cheese - about 25 per cent of its production - to Russia annually.
Mansel Raymond, chairman of Copa-Cogeca, the umbrella organisation for European farmers, said the ban and the Chino-Russian dairy venture sent a worrying signal to Europe's dairy farmers.
"The scale of Chinese investment in dairy production is vast. I wonder now whether we will ever get the Russian milk market back,' he said.
"Building a 100,000-cow dairy farm is simply mind-boggling. If the 100,000 head represents milking cows, this unit alone could produce 800 million litres a year.
"In that case, it would equate to 100,000 tonnes of cheese - and that would mean this unit alone could produce about 30 per cent of our previous exports to Russia."
Most Chinese people are intolerant of lactose, a sugar in milk, although it is growing in popularity in the country.