Nearly 60 exhibitors are lining up for this year’s Waikato Effluent Expo at the Mystery Creek events centre near Hamilton next Tuesday 17 March (St Patrick’s Day).
The event is in its fifth year and it is hoped attendance will top last year’s figure of 650. Fifty-seven exhibitors are confirmed.
The expo – organised by Waikato Regional Council and sponsored by DairyNZ – is designed to be a one stop shop to support farmers wanting to upgrade their effluent systems or catch up on the latest advice. It is the only effluent-specific event in New Zealand.
Expo organiser Electra Kalaugher, of the regional council, said good effluent systems help protect waterways and maximise farm profits by making efficient use of the nutrients available.
Ms Kalaugher said the fact it was the expo’s fifth birthday showed the ongoing commitment people had doing a better job on the effluent front, both to protect the environment and improve farm profitability.
“The expo is a great chance to make sure you’re up on the latest developments and advice from industry, and to plan improvements, even if you can’t afford to spend up large this year”.
About half the expo’s visitors last year were farm owners who are responsible for major investment decisions regarding effluent systems.
This year the Mystery Creek exhibition hall and outdoor area will host companies displaying specialist machinery and equipment, infrastructure, and design and consultation services focused on effluent management. There will also be a range of seminars within the exhibition hall with more time for questions and discussion this year.
Indoor seminars will include seminars on effluent storage options and nutrients by DairyNZ, a seminar from Waikato Regional Council on effluent system monitoring, and a more interactive discussion session with Fonterra and DairyNZ on system upgrades in tight times.
A small outdoor grandstand will allow people to watch demonstrations of irrigation systems during outdoor seminars from AgVice. Along with the usual inside cafe area, a food area will also be available outside this year with picnic tables, Fritz Wiener hotdogs and a coffee cart.
Besides sponsorship from DairyNZ, Ms Kalaugher said Federated Farmers and milk companies were supporting the expo.
Most attendees last year were from Waikato, although some farmers came from as far away as Northland, Taranaki and Wairarapa. This year the Bay of Plenty and Taranaki regional councils will be promoting the expo as a place for farmers in their areas to learn about developments in effluent management.
Questions about the expo can be emailed to Effluent.Expo@waikatoregion.govt.nz
For more information, check out the expo website at http://www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/Community/Whats-happening/Events/Effluent-Expo/