Cold weather later this week is set to bring widespread frost to all inland areas. The main issue in a severe frost is frozen water pipes, pumps and other devices in milking parlours, as well as frozen water troughs.

Modern machines are good at self-draining, but problems can still occur. Keep all doors to milking parlours closed.

Some farmers stack straw bales in front of openings to try to insulate the interior of buildings from frost.

To prevent the milking machine from freezing, a final rinse of salt and water seems to work well for some. The rate is 2.5% salt, so 0.5kg in 20l of water.


Put the salt water through after the final rinse. Suck enough water to line the internal surfaces and then drain the plant fully.

Make sure pumps are drained at the base or are well insulated to prevent impellers getting damaged.

Leave clusters hanging down and drain them well to make sure no water can freeze in the bends.

In order to keep water pipes from freezing, some farmers will leave taps on slightly overnight, as moving water won’t freeze.


While wasting water is undesirable, not having running water in the mornings is also undesirable, so that is the choice to be made.

Out in the fields, it’s a good idea to drain field water troughs, as some concrete troughs can crack in a heavy frost.

Ice around a yard can be very dangerous, so make sure to have yards as dry as possible before the heaviest of the frost and have some salt to hand to spread over yards to prevent slips and falls.