Go green with your dairy cleaning system
25 August 2008
Producing top quality milk requires cleaning the milking plant every time it’s used. While the process will always involve warm water and chemicals, there are options to make your cleaning system ‘green’.
CowTime’s Darold Klindworth reports on some examples of cleaning systems that are kinder to the environment by re-using water and chemicals. All re-use systems require an insulated tank to hold hot detergent solution between uses.
"It’s pretty easy to plumb up a manual system but automated systems controlled by a computer are more of a challenge," said Darold.
Several years ago Gippsland dairy farmers Wilma and Peter Mackay overcame the challenge, installing an automated system that uses the same detergent batch for six weeks, saving 800L of first quality water everyday.
"Setting it up required some computer expertise to program the automation and it took a couple of goes to get the system working properly. It’s run smoothly for several years now, helping the farm maintain its desired milk quality," said Peter.
CowTime has also visited a dairy farmer in South West Victoria who installed a manual system more than seven years ago.
"He used the same batch of detergent solution for four years before he was distracted by visitors and made a mistake! Over that time he simply topped up the solution each week with a few litres of water and added small amounts of chemical to maintain the correct pH."
Darold encourages all dairy farmers to keep an open mind about ‘green’ cleaning systems.
"The more farmers demand automated, re-use systems, the faster we’ll see an off-the-shelf solution available at an affordable capital cost. Not only will it reduce the environmental impact of dairy farming, it will reduce the cost of water and chemicals," he said.
For more information refer to the CowTime Guidelines for Milk Harvesting: Chapter 6