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Read our tips for how you can capture the water you use to pre-cool milk and use it for other purposes.

Washing Platform and Dairy Surfaces

It is easy to spray lots of water around when milking -“ particularly if you are waiting for cows to finish milking. In times of short supply this is one area where small savings can be made with little effort.

See the options below:

  • Install non stick surfaces in the dairy

    Install Non-Stick Surfaces in the Dairy

      

    Description

    ˜Non-stick™ coatings for walls (and floors) in the dairy are available and make cleaning a quick and simple matter. There are lots of options for sealing concrete - from two coat liquids, to trowel-on systems. Costs vary from $10 to over $50/m2 installed.

    Specialist coatings for dairy walls are available and can be applied to concrete, panel, tin or other material. They come with a 10 year guarantee for dairy use.Tiles are commonly used on pit walls overseas and even a coat of paint will reduce the effort and water used in cleaning.

    Tips on Getting the Best Result

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    Pros and Cons

    Light surfaces will brighten up the dairy making it a safer and more pleasant place to work.These surfaces are commonly used in food processing plants to improve hygiene. 

    Issues in Making it Happen

    Labour

    Reduce time and effort to clean surfaces.

  • Strategically wash platform

    Strategically Wash Platform

      

    Description

    Constant water sprays for washing the platform and clusters on rotary dairies use around 40% of the total water used in the dairy. In times of shortage consider turning them off and strategically washing the manure off soiled surfaces.

    A hand held scraper ($90) or hand held scoop can be useful for removing the odd manure pile from the platform.

    For the clusters, install a sensor switch™ (ie a mechanical or infra-red proximity switch) that turns on the spray only when the cluster is in wash range. This may not suit installations with a dedicated water pump using a pressure system.

    For the clusters, install a ˜sensor switch™ (ie a mechanical or infra-red proximity switch) that turns on the spray only when the cluster is in wash range. This may not suit installations with a dedicated water pump using a pressure system. 

    Tips on Getting the Best Result

    A high volume, low pressure hose close to the operator will make it a quick job. Check with the supplier of your water pump on ways to avoid continual starting/stopping.

    Pros and Cons

    A low cost way to save water but it is an extra job to do at milking.

    Issues in Making it Happen

    Labour

    An extra job to do but not a big one!

  • Use cow ankle straps on pipework

    Use Cow Ankle Straps on Pipework

      

    Description

    Velcro ankle straps placed around long sections of pipework can be used to scrub the manure off when hosing out the dairy. The straps stay in place permanently and a wipe up and down the pipe once is usually enough.

    Long strips of synthetic backed velcro can be purchased from fabric / safety supply stores. Ankle straps are sometimes supplied free with mastitis preparations.

    Tips on Getting the Best Result

    Keeping the pipe work wet with an occasional spray during milking will keep the muck soft.

    Pros and Cons

    Inexpensive solution to speed the cleaning up process.Only suited to herringbone dairies.

    Issues in Making it Happen

    None

  • Use gloves to clean rubberware and pipework

    Use Gloves to Clean Rubberware and Pipework

      

    Description

    A simple pair of exfoliation / scrubbing / rubber studded gardening gloves makes cleaning pipework and rubberware a quick and simple job“ saving water along the way.

    A pair of gloves cost about $5 and will last about a month.

    Tips on Getting the Best Result

    Combine scrubbing with a hand held trigger hose.

    Pros and Cons

    Quick and inexpensive. 

    Issues in Making it Happen

    Labour

    Should save about 10 minutes per milking.

  • Use low pressure hoses

    Reduce Evaporation

      

    Description

    Tanks and covered vessels provide the least losses from evaporation however less expensive systems have been developed to reduce evaporation from large farm storages.

    A commercially available chemical (Water$avrTM) can be added daily to water stores which will reduce evaporation by 30-50%. One kilogram ($12) will dose 1Ha of surface area for 3 days. The chemical is harmless and safe to drink and could be used in slow moving channels.

    Other systems are available include floating balls or other physical covers (E-vapCapTM) but these are more expensive.

    Tips on Getting the Best Result

    Reduce wind action if possible or don't apply that day. Water$avrTM is a powder that dissolves and spreads rapidly over the water surface, requiring no specialised equipment. 

    Pros and Cons

    Easy to do, inexpensive although wind action breaks up the chemical monolayer requiring frequent reapplication. Limited application in cold windy weather. 

    Issues in Making it Happen

    Labour

    Daily application required.

    Animal Health

    Nil - food grade chemical.

    Milk Quality

    Nil - food grade chemical.

    Environment

    Solid covers will reduce biological activity in storages.

  • Wet surfaces prior to milking

    Wet Surfaces Prior to Milking

     

    Description

    Hose the interior surfaces of the dairy to wet them prior to letting cows in and occasionally through the milking. This will make the surfaces easier and quicker to clean.

    The walls of a rotary dairy are particularly prone to becoming caked with manure so a quick spray before and during milking makes them easier to clean.

    Deck flush systems are commercially available and can be incorporated into the nib wall of the platform. 

    Tips on Getting the Best Result

    Can reduce labour by installing dribble bars, tipping drums or spray units in specific areas. Needs to deliver a high volume for a short time only.

    Pros and Cons

    Quick and inexpensive to do.

    Issues in Making it Happen

    Labour

    May take an extra minute or two but will improve the working environment. Avoid creating aerosols inside the dairy with sprinklers.

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