Helping farmers manage effluent

31 Jul, 2017 11:14 AM
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EFFLUENT MANAGEMENT: The program is helping farmers manage their current effluent reuse systems.
Effluent management is an important part of any dairy business and offers many benefits.
EFFLUENT MANAGEMENT: The program is helping farmers manage their current effluent reuse systems.

A NEW Dairy Effluent management program has been delivered to dairyfarmers at Lismore, Dorrigo and Kempsey on the NSW North Coast.

The program was delivered by North Coast Local Land Services in partnership with Subtropical Dairy through workshops funded from the National Landcare Program and is designed to help dairyfarmers assess their current effluent management strategies.

Effluent management is an important part of any dairy business and offers many benefits on and off the farm, including opportunities for saving money on fertiliser, improving soil condition and farm productivity.

Subtropical Dairy and North Coast Local Land Services launched an agreement in 2016 designed to deliver additional natural resource activities for dairyfarmers.

Senior land services officer Brendan O’Brien said that the partnership with Subtropical Dairy was critical to helping them maximise their services for farmers and outcomes for natural resources.

“Through programs such as these we are helping farmers grow their knowledge to support a productive industry and healthy natural environment,” he said.

North Coast Local Land Services engaged effluent specialists Scott McDonald and Paul Wallace from Agriculture Victoria Services and ICD Project Services and Scott Birchall to deliver workshops, on-farm assessments and effluent management plans.

Farmers who participated in the program had the benefit of receiving one on one advice, as well as a Dairy Farm Effluent Management Plan to guide them into the future.

The workshops introduced farmers to tools and resources to assist with effluent management and the economic benefits of effluent reuse including reduced costs in conventional fertilisers and decrease in animal health issues.

“The feedback from producers has been very positive with farmers able to explore new options that may not have been considered previously,” Mr O'Brien said.

“Some were given reassurance that the system they had implemented was the right one for their farming enterprise and future plans.”

For further advice on effluent management, there are a large number of resources available for farmers including:

  • www.dairyingfortomorrow.com.au/tools-and-guidelines/effluent-and-manure-management-database-for-the-australian-dairy-industry/
  • dairyinfrastructure.com.au/planning/effluent-system-designers
  • www.dairynsw.com.au/Projects/LandWaterCarbon.aspx.
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