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Published: 2011-02-08 00:00:00

A new expo showcasing dairy effluent management systems, equipment and advice is being billed as a one-stop-shop to help farmers manage their effluent. 

The free one day Effluent Expo, organised by Environment Waikato and sponsored by DairyNZ, will be held on Tuesday 29 March from 9am-5pm at Mystery Creek. Organisers have confirmed the attendance of 17 exhibitors from a range of organisations who will provide advice on everything from pond construction to pump selection.

Expo organiser Kate Ody, an environmental farming systems advisor at EW, said the expo will help farmers looking to upgrade their effluent systems see what is available on the market.

“This Effluent Expo is the first time something of this size has been attempted in New Zealand,” she said. “Of particular interest to farmers will be the showcasing of the specially developed pond storage size calculator.”

Ms Ody said exhibitors would be able to provide clear information on the calculator, the brain child of Horizons Regional Council and developed by Massey University.

“The exhibitors have been trained to use the new software, which has been adapted by EW for the Waikato, and they will help farmers one-on-one on the day to discuss their effluent systems.”

Ms Ody said planning for the expo stemmed from repeated enquiries received by EW on effluent systems, as well as a survey of farmers last year on what farmers wanted to know about effluent storage.

The tailored expo will include seminars on storage requirements, information on how to get the greatest value from effluent nutrients, and an opportunity to get advice from a variety of effluent system providers all in one place.

“Effluent management has become a much greater focus for farmers. New technology and systems are available and farmers are after quality advice to make good decisions for their businesses. This expo will be the place to get that information.”

EW staff would also be on hand to answer questions on regional council regulations, Ms Ody said.

DairyNZ Development Project Manager for Effluent Dr Theresa Wilson said she hoped the advice on the day would help to make effluent management decisions easier for farmers to make.

“Investing in a new piece of equipment for an effluent system, even if it is a small upgrade, can be a complex decision for farm owners to make.

“There’s often lots to consider and it can be a time-consuming process to gather all the information needed to decide on an upgrade before you write out a cheque. By spending an hour or two at this expo you can look at all the flash new toys and get all those important conversations done in one hit,” she said.

The following seminars have so far been scheduled for the day:

  • Pond storage calculator, with Kate Ody, EW
  • Making money from your nutrients, with Doug Edmeades, agKnowledge
  • Environmental risks of effluent, Bill Vant, EW water scientist.

Further information on the Effluent Expo is available by contacting Kate Ody at Environment Waikato on 0800 800 401.