25 March 2021
In the second part of our interview with Dr Laura Stocker, we discuss what to do with all that dairy cow excrement.
Unmanaged, effluent poses a high risk of flowing into and contaminating nearby waterways, harming the farm and environment, and losing nutrients.
Effluent is collected into storage ponds.
Here the effluent separates into solids and liquids, which can then be used for compost and irrigation, respectively.
BUT it needs to be done properly, otherwise there can be major problems.
Any application needs to be well away from waterways to avoid effluent washing or drifting into them. It is the goal of the incoming dairy code-of-conduct to reduce waterway contamination to 0%.
Soil can also only absorb so much at a time, over-application, or application when the soil is waterlogged can kill pasture, lead to run-off, or see the nutrients not be properly absorbed.
But if applied well, this use of effluent can save farmers the cost of buying fertilizers that add nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium. Which otherwise are substantial costs.
Farmers are always innovating, and there aren’t many examples better than the triple W created by reusing effluent onto pastures.
It saves money, the environment, and stops the loss of nutrients from a farm.
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Runoff cost a cause for concern say dairy farmers