Smart water use a must for dairy­ing

Matamata Chronicle - - Rural Delivery - By GORD STE­WART

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.

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