15 Jan 2018 - New milk cooling regulations come into effect on June 1 2018, meaning all farmers must chill milk to 6°C within six hours of starting milking, or to 6°C within two hours of completion of milking.
DeLaval's National Sales Manager Chris Watkins is reminding farmers that suppliers and installation crews require several months’ lead time.
“Some farmers do see this as just another regulation, but if they take the time to do their homework and make the right changes, it really is an opportunity to make significant energy gains and power savings,” he said.
Watkins is urging farmers to prioritise getting their milk cooling set-up assessed, as potentially having to dump milk if it doesn’t meet requirements could get very expensive.
“There is a lot of caution around pasture and budgeting for supplementary feed at this time of year, but those gains can be lost if the milk itself isn’t down to temperature quickly.”
He said DeLaval teams are still seeing a number of farms that aren’t compliant, even though the new rules are now very close. DeLaval has been running interest free offers on glycol chillers, with a calculated payback period of around two and half years for an average farm.
“We’d expect to see ongoing per annum savings of around $9.5k if the farm is bundling products smartly – for example, by using reduced temperature detergents in conjunction with the hot-water byproduct from the chilling system,” said Mr Watkins.
Top tips for farmers considering a chiller upgrade:
- Farm water temperature: if farm water currently goes above 18C on the hottest day, energy efficiency gains from a new system will be greater.
- If your shed older than 5 years: product advances and general cooling improvements mean farmers who haven’t built a shed in the last five years stand to gain from recent innovations.
- Consider your climate: Northland, Waikato, BoP, Manawatu and top of the South Island farmers with higher annual average temperatures will have a tougher job chilling to the lower required temperatures quickly and consistently, and could make substantial energy savings from an upgraded solution.
- Do your homework: Look for built-in heat recovery to reduce energy use, systems that do not require added hardware components as herd size increases, interest free terms, and good service provision to ensure maximum benefits from the capital outlay.