Expo set to re­solve ef­flu­ent de­ci­sions

Matamata Chronicle - - Rural Delivery -

ANEW expo show­cas­ing dairy ef­flu­ent man­age­ment sys­tems, equip­ment and ad­vice is be­ing billed as a on­estop-shop to help farm­ers man­age their ef­flu­ent. The free one-day Ef­flu­ent Expo, or­gan­ised by En­vi­ron­ment Waikato and spon­sored by DairyNZ, will be held on Tues­day, March 29 from 9am to 5pm at Mys­tery Creek.

Or­gan­is­ers have con­firmed 17 ex­hibitors from a range of or­gan­i­sa­tions who will pro­vide ad­vice on ev­ery­thing from pond con­struc­tion to pump se­lec­tion.

Expo or­gan­iser Kate Ody, an En­vi­ron­ment Waikato en­vi­ron­men­tal farm­ing sys­tems ad­viser, said the expo would help farm­ers look­ing to up­grade their ef­flu­ent sys­tems to see what was avail­able on the mar­ket.

‘‘This Ef­flu­ent Expo is the first time some­thing of this size has been at­tempted in New Zealand,’’ she said. ‘‘ Of par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est to farm­ers will be the show­cas­ing of the spe­cially de­vel­oped pond stor­age size cal­cu­la­tor.’’

Ms Ody said ex­hibitors would be able to pro­vide clear in­for­ma­tion on the cal­cu­la­tor, the brain child of Hori­zons Re­gional Coun­cil, de­vel­oped by Massey Univer­sity.

‘‘The ex­hibitors have been trained to use the new soft­ware, which has been adapted by EW for the Waikato, and they will help farm­ers one-on-one on the day to dis­cuss their ef­flu­ent sys­tems.’’

Ms Ody said the expo stemmed from re­peated in­quiries re­ceived by En­vi­ron­ment Waikato on ef­flu­ent sys­tems, as well as a sur­vey of farm­ers last year on what farm­ers wanted to know about ef­flu­ent stor­age.

The tai­lored expo will in­clude sem­i­nars on stor­age re­quire­ments, in­for­ma­tion on how to get the great­est value from ef­flu­ent nu­tri­ents and an op­por­tu­nity to get ad­vice from a va­ri­ety of ef­flu­ent sys­tem providers all in one place.

‘‘Ef­flu­ent man­age­ment has be­come a much greater fo­cus for farm­ers. New tech­nol­ogy and sys­tems are avail­able and farm­ers are af­ter qual­ity ad­vice to make good de­ci­sions for their busi­nesses. This expo will be the place to get that in­for­ma­tion.’’

En­vi­ron­ment Waikato staff would also be on hand to an­swer ques­tions on re­gional coun­cil reg­u­la­tions, Ms Ody said.

DairyNZ de­vel­op­ment pro­ject man­ager for ef­flu­ent Dr Theresa Wil­son said she hoped the ad­vice on the day would help to make ef­flu­ent man­age­ment de­ci­sions eas­ier for farm­ers to make.

‘‘In­vest­ing in a new piece of equip­ment for an ef­flu­ent sys­tem, even if it is a small up­grade, can be a com­plex de­ci­sion for farm own­ers. There’s of­ten lots to con­sider and it can be a time-con­sum­ing process to gather all the in­for­ma­tion needed to de­cide on an up­grade be­fore you write out a cheque. By spend­ing an hour or two at this expo you can look at all the flash new toys and get all those im­por­tant con­ver­sa­tions done in one hit,’’ Dr Wil­son said.

The fol­low­ing sem­i­nars have so far been sched­uled for the day:

Pond stor­age cal­cu­la­tor with Kate Ody, En­vi­ron­ment Waikato.

Mak­ing money from your nu­tri­ents, with Doug Ed­meades, agKnowl­edge.

En­vi­ron­men­tal ef­flu­ent risks, Bill Vant, En­vi­ron­ment Waikato wa­ter sci­en­tist.

Fur­ther in­for­ma­tion on the Ef­flu­ent Expo is avail­able from Kate Ody at En­vi­ron­ment Waikato on 0800 800 401.

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