The DeLaval Propeller Agitator is being used successfully in reception pits from washdown yards or barns, to above ground storage tanks and lagoons.
By using the agitator in reception pits the manure is stirred into a homogenous mix, which allows it to be easily transported, by pumping, to the larger tanks or lagoons. Then by agitating the manure in these large effluent stores the manure is kept in an aerobic state, which reduces the risk of odours and is beneficial when using bio-treatments in the manure.
Depending on the size of the storage, the agitator may be used daily or as often as necessary, to maintain the state of the manure. Ensuring an evenly mixed manure means that manure can be taken from the storage either by contractors or through irrigation systems if the size of the particles in the manure are small enough.
DeLaval Propeller Agitators come in a range of sizes from 2 metre length shafts through to a full 4.85 metres and with motors and accompanying drive kits from 5.5kw through to 11kw. The base of the shaft is supported by a foot that keeps the horizontal, 50cm 3-blade propeller clear of the base of the lagoon or tank.
The Propeller Agitators have been used successfully in a significant number of installations throughout Oceania since 2012 and are preferred by Kliptank ™ in New Zealand for their versatile, above ground, modular HDPE panel and aluminium storage tanks, which are designed and manufactured in New Zealand.
Invercargill dairy farmer Simon Bramer installed a DeLaval Propellor Agitator two years ago and says it does a fantastic job.
Bramer milks 340 cows in partnership with his parents and has a two million litre Kliptank with an 11 kilowatt agitator on the property.
"It (the agitator) does a fantastic job. If we don’t pump for a week due to inclement weather a crust will form and after eight hours of stirring the crust is gone," Simon says.
"A good way to tell if you have a good stir is if you are getting blockages in the pod nozzles in the paddock at the other end. We never get nozzles blocked, which shows the mix is stirred consistently all the time."
Simon usually runs the agitator at night for power saving reasons and also due to being surrounded by lifestyle blocks, as it means any odour impact on neighbours is minimised.
"The whole system has a built in timer and the process runs for eight hours. It pumps for 15 minutes, stirs for 15 minutes, has two minutes off, then stirs and pumps simultaneously for 15 minutes before
shutting down for half an hour. So the whole process runs for eight hours, but it’s only four hours of pumping and stirring."
The system is typically turned on every night, as long as soil conditions allow.
The agitator requires minimal maintenance. "It has one grease nipple and a little oil reservoir. The oil hasn’t been touched since it was installed and we grease it maybe once a month. It’s maintenance free really - you walk past it, turn it on and it does its thing."
Simon chose to install a DeLaval agitator for his Kliptank as all the other milking machines on the property are DeLaval. "They do a good job servicing the other gear so we had confidence in using it.
"Without it (the agitator) we wouldn’t have been granted the consents to carry on our farming practice, we were due for an upgrade. Overall, I think we have one of the more aesthetically pleasing effluent solutions and at the end of the day, it works for us," Simon says.
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