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Dairy farm products

We've put together the information in this section to help New Zealand dairy farmers in their quest to operate more sustainable and energy efficient farms.

Energy efficiency on the dairy farm can reduce costs and lead to improved animal well-being and higher productivity. With 805 cows producing 310,000kg of milk solids, our dairy farm in Kurow, North Otago has been a great environment to test some energy efficiency products.

Farm energy efficiency products

Our farm energy efficiency products include:

  • Stray voltage: eliminate stray voltage escaping into the dairy shed.
  • Varivac: this unit, developed by Taranaki technology company Corkill Systems Ltd, stabilises and lowers vacuum pressure across milking lines.
  • Boost: this unit from Enersol uses heat recovery technology to generate hot water while simultaneously chilling milk more quickly, which in turn protects milk quality.
  • Precision VRI: Maximise yields and profitability by applying exactly the right amount of water to specific areas under your irrigator.

Stray Voltage

Are your cows getting zapped?

If your cows are getting uppity, it may not be breed, weather or coming into season – it may be stray voltage in the cow shed. Stray voltage is just that – electricity escaping into the dairy shed and adversely affecting cows.

You won't be able to feel it, but cows can. It can make them more difficult to handle, prolong milking and cause increased amounts of effluent. It's tough both for the cow and the milker, and it can lead to reduced milk returns.

What causes it?

The problem is usually in the design, construction or operation of the dairy shed. Stray voltage can also be caused by incorrect installation, large motors creating ‘spiky' electricity consumption and the operation of electric fences.

How do you detect it?

Keep an eye on the behaviour of cows to see if they appear overly difficult or skittish. If you're concerned, your local electrician can come and inspect the dairy shed, and let you know if you have a problem and what to do about it.


The Dairy Boost Unit from Enersol is the latest in milking shed energy saving technology. It uses heat recovery technology to generate hot water while simultaneously chilling milk more quickly which in turn protects milk quality.

Boost offers a number of benefits over earlier technology. It:

  • Can always provide very hot water (85 ◦C at the unit)
  • Provides very effective sub-cooling to the refrigeration unit which reduces milk chilling time on hot and cold days
  • Can switch between milk and water if milk flow is variable so hot water is always produced at low energy cost
  • Can add a pre-chilled cooler water system in a single unit
  • Provides greater energy savings than other options for a modest cost.
  • Has low servicing costs.

The combination of reduced chilling time plus full heat recovery for water heating means you could get less than three year payback in Dairy shed power savings.


The hot water delivery is plumbed in insulated copper pipe to your storage cylinders which are coupled together as a communicating tank. The system is easy to retro-fit and is a simple plug and play installation, easily fitted by a refrigeration serviceperson.

Find out more

Visit the Enersol website 

Precision VRI

Precision VRI (Variable-Rate Irrigation) allows you to apply exactly the right amount of water to specific areas under your irrigator—giving full control to maximise yields and profitability. This is achieved by individual sprinklers pulsing on and off, while also controlling the system speed to modify the application depth along the length of the irrigator.

The benefits of the intelligent Precision VRI system include increased pasture production, significant irrigation-water savings, reduced energy requirements, fewer lame cows due to wet tracks and reduced track-maintenance costs.

Precision VRI is compatible with centre pivots, laterals, pivoting laterals and reverse pivoting laterals, and can be installed on new irrigation systems or as an add-on to existing systems.

The specialist Precision Irrigation team has extensive knowledge and experience to ensure that your Precision VRI system is customised to your farm. To find out more visit the Precision Irrigation website or contact the team today.


Want to know more?

Contact our Agribusiness Team on 0800 496 777.