Ef­flu­ent so­lu­tions in­ter­est swells

Matamata Chronicle - - Rural Delivery -

More than 40 ex­hibitors will be at­tend­ing this year’s Ef­flu­ent Expo at Mys­tery Creek next month.

Last year’s in­au­gu­ral event, or­gan­ised by Waikato Re­gional Coun­cil and spon­sored by Dairynz, had 25 ex­hibitors and was at­tended by an es­ti­mated one in 10 of the re­gion’s 4500 dairy farm­ers, agri­cul­ture ad­viser Kate Ody said.

‘‘The buzz around last year’s event has cer­tainly helped lift ex­hibitor num­bers this year,’’ Ms Ody said.

‘‘An­other fac­tor is that we’ve en­cour­aged more ex­hibitors to come to al­low farm­ers to see a wider range of ef­flu­ent so­lu­tions, which they can match to the unique cir­cum­stances of their farm.’’

She said in­vi­ta­tions had also been is­sued to the pork in­dus­try as ef­flu­ent is­sues were not lim­ited to dairy­ing.

‘‘Many of the in­dus­try ex­hibitors will pro­vide ef­flu­ent so­lu­tions across the dif­fer­ent agri­cul­tural sec­tors.’’

Ms Ody said farmer at­ten­dance at the expo could be fur­ther boosted this year be­cause Bay of Plenty Re­gional Coun­cil told dairy farm­ers in its area about it, and the Auck­land Coun­cil had pub­li­cised it with farm­ers south of Auck­land.

The expo comes at a time when the re­gional coun­cil is look­ing to do more to pro­tect wa­ter qual­ity and wa­ter re­sources in the Waikato from the im­pacts of in­ten­sive agri­cul­ture, es­pe­cially nu­tri­ents and bac­te­ria from dairy­ing and other live­stock farm­ing.

‘‘Ex­pos are a good way of pro­vid­ing in­for­ma­tion to farm­ers about hav­ing an ef­fec­tive ef­flu­ent sys­tem which helps them max­imise their prof­its and min­imise their en­vi­ron­men­tal foot­print,’’ Ms Ody said.

‘‘There will be an op­por­tu­nity to see how the ef­flu­ent pond stor­age cal­cu­la­tor ap­plies to in­di­vid­ual farms us­ing Waikato data.’’

The cal­cu­la­tor was orig­i­nally devel­oped by Massey Univer­sity and Hori­zons Re­gional Coun­cil.

‘‘Ef­flu­ent is­sues af­fect all live­stock farms so it’s well worth a look,’’ Ms Ody said.

‘‘Be­sides what the ex­hibitors have to of­fer, there will be a num­ber of op­tional sem­i­nars and demon­stra­tions which will be

re­peated through­out the day.’’

Dairynz spon­sored De­sign and con­struc­tion of dairy ef­flu­ent stor­age ponds (Theresa Wil­son, Dairynz and Rex Cor­lett, Opus);

Fi­nan­cial im­pli­ca­tions of sys­tem up­grades – pay­ing to per­form (Geoff Cot­ton, Na­tional Bank);

Smart wa­ter use for ef­flu­ent man­age­ment (Gord Ste­wart and Wayne Berry, Dairynz);

Op­ti­mis­ing ef­flu­ent man­age­ment us­ing stor­age (David Houl­brooke, Agre­search);

Con­sented dis­charges of treated ef­flu­ent to wa­ter­ways – the next steps (Natasha Hay­ward, Waikato Re­gional Coun­cil);

Mak­ing the most of pig ef­flu­ent and stay­ing com­pli­ant (Jaye Hill, NZ Pork and Kate Ody Waikato Re­gional Coun­cil); and

Bio­gas op­por­tu­ni­ties from stored pig ef­flu­ent (Stephan Hue­beck, NIWA).

Waikato Re­gional Coun­cil staff will be on hand to an­swer ques­tions about com­ply­ing with coun­cil rules on ef­flu­ent man­age­ment.

Out­side the venue vis­i­tors will be able to see demon­stra­tions of a range of ef­flu­ent ir­ri­ga­tors.

The Waikato expo last year was the first in New Zealand.

The 2012 Ef­flu­ent Expo is on Tues­day, Fe­bru­ary 28, from 9am to 3.30pm at the Mys­tery Creek Events Cen­tre. More in­for­ma­tion about the expo can be found at waika­tore­gion.govt.nz/for­farm­ers.

CROWD PLEASER: Farm­ers in­spect some of the equip­ment at last year’s ef­flu­ent expo.

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