Unit future-proofs the farm

Photo of Shane Ashley with the Varicool 22
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Shane and Jacque Ashley

Matamata

Farm Currently 262 hectares but increasing to 343 hectares in June 2019
Cows Currently 650 but increasing to 900 in June 2019
Dairy 54 bail rotary
VariCOOL Unit 22

We’re just finishing our fourth season with the VariCOOL 22 and we’re very happy with it

We built the new shed on the site of the old one in 2015. The herd was dried off on 1 March and the new shed had to be ready by 1 July so we didn’t have a lot of time.

We had a chilled water system with the old shed which brought the milk down to around 10 degrees when it entered the vat meaning the chillers had to do a bit of work to bring it down further by the time it was picked up. We thought there had to be something better and liked the concept of VariCOOL which would chill the milk to below 6 degrees enabling us to meet the new cooling regulations when they were introduced.

It was also important for us to invest in a system which would future-proof the farm should we add to the acreage. The fact that VariCOOL ramps up to meet demand was very appealing as it meant it would simply continue to chill whatever milk goes through it to around 5 degrees by the time it enters the vat. We recently purchased a neighbouring property which sees the herd grow to 900 cows but won’t have to make any changes to our cooling system, which is great.

VariCOOL also fitted with our tight build timeframe, as the new unit was simply lifted into place beside the vat and we were ready to go.

Cost wasn’t a factor because it will be here for years. Efficiency and ease of management are very important. The fact that the unit is constantly monitored with any issues remedied via the internet is reassuring, especially when you’ve got staff.

We’re just finishing our fourth season with the VariCOOL 22 and we’re very happy with it.