Smart water use a must for dairying
Get a group of dairy farmers together for a chat and good things can happen. Ask Wayne Berry to steer the discussion toward efficient water use on-farm and a wealth of ideas result.
That was the experience at the Smart Water Use Ideas Exchange sessions run by Dairynz.
Farm owners, managers, sharemilkers and staff came along to discuss what works and why.
‘‘A great place to start is in the farm dairy,’’ said Mr Berry, an experienced dairy farm owner and Dairynz consulting officer with a special interest in smart water use.
‘‘The secret is to make the most of every litre of water going through the shed.
‘‘The temperature of source water will partially determine how much is needed for milk cooling.’’
For older plate coolers the recommended ratio is 2.5 litres of water to one litre milk. For modern coolers the ratio should be 2:1.
You can measure your water flow rate (time water running into a drum) and how long the pump runs during milking to check total water use, then see if there are ways you can reduce it.
One way is to match plate cooler water flow to milk flow.
For intermittent flow, install a solenoid valve at the inlet to the cooler and link it to the milk pump. Installing a variable flow drive can achieve the same thing.
Every drip counts: For yard washdown, pump capacity and hose size should be compatible. Efficient water use comes from high volume under low pressure.