This event aimed to showcase energy saving ideas and installations in the dairy. Guest speakers were on hand to discuss the savings that can be made by adjusting dairy operations and dairy equipment. A tour of the dairy with Darold Klindworth (from DPI Ellinbank) provided tips on what farmers can do to save energy in the dairy.
The new Green Cleaning TM system was also on display and technical specialists were on hand to give an update on how the system worked and what savings can be made (water, energy and chemicals). In addition guest speakers spoke on solar energy options, small scale wind energy, methane energy and heat transfer systems suitable for dairy farms.
Energy costs are going to increase and there are systems or practices which can be immediately implemented which will save on energy consumption.
There are cleaning systems which can save energy, water and chemical use in the dairy and this is good for the environment and also saving $$.
It makes sense for farmers to consider the options available which shall create a more sustainable farming operation (both financially and environmentally) as energy prices rise and consumers are looking for products which are produced in a sustainable manner.
Energy audits are a good way of finding out where major power consumption occurs and if there are opportunities to reduce energy usage.
There were many speakers at the event i.e. Richard Johnston spoke about small scale wind energy options for farms, Adrian Mills discussed solar hot water, Paul Hemming from Colac spoke on heat transfer systems and Ed George spoke about the Plasback Silage Wrap Recycling system currently being promoted in the region.
Farmer attendees mentioned they would ‘put the heat pump on at night rate and look at the cooling system’ and ‘take more notice of energy consumption’. Other attendees felt that the event was great for providing general considerations to have with clients and information about wind and renewable is not easy to track down.
Alistair Adams said the Green Cleaning TM system has definitely been beneficial. “So far it is working on all three counts” he said. Gabrial Hakim says it is a ‘no brainer’ and that “once you get your head around the numbers it is clearly worthwhile both for the environment and economically. Milk cooling and water heating are the big users of energy in the dairy so if you want to make an impact that’s where you’ve got to focus.”
The DGAS tool also provides opportunity for farmers to enter activities which would reduce emissions and see how the changes reduce emission on their farm. Sam Dalziel explained that “using the DGAS system will help you to understand what gases your farm produces and starts you thinking about abatement strategies.”
The Green Cleaning TM project was managed by AgVet Projects on behalf of GippsDairy and supported by the Victorian Government’s Sustainability Fund and the Gardiner Foundation. Project partners also included major Australian dairy equipment and chemical suppliers.
Pine Hill Dairies, Wangoom, south west Victoria
Louise Sheba, Dairying for Tomorrow Regional Coordinator