2019-09-12  facebooktwitterrss

Incorrect Cleaning Routines Impacting Dairy Profit

Recent data from Deosan shows an alarming number of farms using incorrect cleaning routines and the cost of this misuse can make a significant impact on farm profitability.

Inefficient or unbalanced wash routines could be costing the industry up to £3 million per year in temperature loss alone, where energy consumed to heat water is wasted due to the temperature dropping even before even it is introduced to the parlour. This is before the cost of incorrect chemical use is considered.

Milking parlours need four crucial elements to achieve optimum hygiene, and it is important they are in balance to be effective

Milking parlours need four crucial elements to achieve optimum hygiene, and it is important they are in balance to be effective

Analysing figures from a Deosandesigned app that has been used to study cleaning efficiencies on a representational range of dairy farms throughout the UK, there were two significant findings:

  • On average, water heating accounted for £3250 of expenditure per year, yet due to inefficient release and uptake into the parlour, 20% of the expenditure was never realised due to temperature drop.

  • Chemical consumption was 10% above the required levels for circulation cleaning - meaning approximately £300 in additional cost/farm/year.

“In addition to overuse of chemicals and inefficient water temperatures, there is also the cost of accelerated deterioration to equipment and milk liners. It seems clear that some major improvements can be made, and the good news is that they can be made quickly and simply,” says David Horton, Deosan UK Sales Manager.

“An effective wash cycle can be split into four equal areas – all of which work in harmony for a successful clean. All of these factors should be given equal attention to ensure hygiene investment is cost effective. They are; temperature, contact time of the chemical to clean, correct chemical dosage and mechanical action, i.e. the turbidity of the water going around the system.

 “An efficient parlour wash is essential to ensure milk soil and bacteria are removed. Typically, aiming for water leaving the boiler at a temperature of 77 to 82 degrees Celsius should deliver a good temperature profile across the whole wash cycle,” says David.

However, findings from Deosan showed that on average, 18 degrees Celsius was lost between extraction of the hot water from the heater to the start of the wash.

“Some simple modifications to the water heater outlet, or the parlour intake arrangement can be made, which are a minimal cost solution. If maintaining higher temperatures is difficult, look for chemical options that work at lower temperatures.

“Frequently checking temperatures at all stages of the wash should be adopted; at the minimum this should be done seasonally, as outside temperatures will have an impact on your wash temperature,” David advises.  “You need to act before an issue affects cleaning and bactoscan results. Something as simple as lagging the pipes can make a big difference on retaining temperatures, or maybe you can reduce the complexity of the pipework.”

The study also found that 33% of farms circulated the water in excess of 8 minutes, and/or allowed the water to fall below 45 degrees C, risking reintroduction of debris to the system.

“These few minutes can be critical for an effective wash. You don’t want a carry-over of pathogens from one milking to the next as this builds a higher risk of problems.”

“It is important to be careful with chemical dosage - 54% of farms introduced a chemical to the final rinse at a higher rate than required. It is advisable to routinely check how much chemical is used to ensure over-dosing is avoided as it can lead to milk fat and scale deposition, biofilm formation, bacterial growth, equipment deterioration, teat damage and ultimately income loss.

 “Teat preparation plays an important role in the success of the wash cycle, so look at your routine or ask for advice on how you can make changes to improve. Overall, 76% of farms had seen a direct improvement in milk hygiene results from introducing a full pre-milk routine; resulting in additional milk bonuses that far outweigh any extra labour and hygiene product costs.”

As we move forward into a new world of dairy production, the industry needs to consider how robust businesses are. Do they meet future requirements? This issue is not simply a cost issue, but also one of waste and carbon footprint; two areas with increasing awareness from consumers. 

“Does your circulation routine deliver efficiency in terms of water, energy and chemical use? Consider what changes you could make; from reducing energy, to choosing products that work in reduced temperatures, ensuring you are using the correct dose and using chemicals that are sympathetic to your equipment. Small adaptions can make a big difference and can eliminate the risk of improper cleaning and its impact on milk profitability,” David concludes.


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