Effluent solutions interest swells
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.