Improving Hunter water quality

28 Aug, 2017 10:15 AM
Comments
0
 
Dairyfarmer John Hooke explaining his new system to Joe Thompson from Hunter Local land Services and fellow dairyfarmer Ken Fisher from Salisbury, NSW
The waste effluent was redirected to keep valuable nutrients on farm.
Dairyfarmer John Hooke explaining his new system to Joe Thompson from Hunter Local land Services and fellow dairyfarmer Ken Fisher from Salisbury, NSW

Hunter region dairyfarmers involved in a $1.1 million dollar project to improve water quality in the Williams River are enjoying significant improvements in farm productivity.

Thirteen dairies near Dungog participated in the three-year Williams River Dairy Effluent and Farm Management Project to upgrade on-farm effluent systems and develop better-targeted fertiliser programs.

The partnership between Hunter Water, Hunter Local Land Services and local dairyfarmers aimed to reduce dairy effluent risks to the region’s drinking water supply, while boosting farm productivity.

Farmer John Hooke has worked his family dairy for 55 years and is impressed with the outcomes of the project.

“Most of us had pretty outdated systems and the downturn in the milk industry meant we didn’t have available finance to cover the costs of the necessary effluent system upgrades,” Mr Hooke said.

“Thanks to Hunter Water and Hunter Local Land Services we were provided the financial assistance to help with the works, which has had a positive benefit for the catchment as well as our own properties.”

Mr Hooke has already noticed improved pasture conditions, through a boost to nitrogen and phosphorous levels in his soil, where the recycled effluent is being used to help grow feed.

Water Quality Scientist John Simpson said Hunter Water’s project partnership with Local Land Services was a great example of how public agencies and farmers could work together to deliver projects with real benefits for both the dairyfarmers, the environment and drinking water supplies.

“The aim of the project from the beginning was to help dairyfarmers improve productivity along with benefits to river water quality,” Mr Simpson said.

“We look forward to finding other innovative ways to partner with the community to achieve win-win outcomes.”

The waste effluent was redirected to keep valuable nutrients on farm, allowing farmers to adjust their fertiliser programs and reduce associated costs. The group was also engaged in Dairy Australia’s Fert$mart program that bases effective fertiliser management on soil test results.

Hunter Local Land Services Project Manager Col Freeman said the farmers made a significant contribution that had had direct benefits to the Williams River catchment.

“The dairyfarmers invested over $300,000 between them to bring their effluent management systems up to the highest industry standards, and it’s great to see this level of commitment to the future of their businesses and the dairy industry,” Mr Freeman said.

POST A COMMENT


Screen name *
Email address *
Remember me?
Comment *
 
Effective pasture management is one of the most important aspects of successful dairy production, yet many dairyfarmers are not using pasture measurement equipment.17 Feb 18 Effective pasture management is one of the most important aspects of successful dairy production, yet many...
ALLORA, Qld, dairy farmers Andrew and Chris Mullins, Queensland, have been operating in partnership for the past ten years and have a clear vision on how they produce, plus manage, their forage feeding systems. 
05 Feb 18 ALLORA, Qld, dairy farmers Andrew and Chris Mullins, Queensland, have been operating in partnership for the past ten...
light grey arrow
Just wondering if it is true that you will be discontinuing the Devondale long life cream
light grey arrow
The disconnect here is that Farmers believe they are selling a Value Added Product (and, that is
light grey arrow
Read the building regulations, there has been changes for farm buildings. None of this is
Like a lot of dairyfarmers, Steven and Leanne Wieland's Boonah, Qld, business has grown in the past decade.13 Feb 18 Like a lot of dairyfarmers, Steven and Leanne Wieland's Boonah, Qld, business has grown in the past decade.
A Western Australian dairyfarmer says his simple effluent management system is the most cost-effective and labour efficient for his farm.
06 Feb 18 A Western Australian dairyfarmer says his simple effluent management system is the most cost-effective and labour...
Australian farm chemical manufacturer Nufarm has repaired its balance sheet and is now hunting for acquisition opportunities.25 Sep 16 Australian farm chemical manufacturer Nufarm has repaired its balance sheet and is now hunting for acquisition...
Monopoly market may confront cropping sector under mega-merger proposal.22 Sep 16 Monopoly market may confront cropping sector under mega-merger proposal.