Friday, 29 March 2019 09:40

Bacteria-killing system wins award

Written by 
Carl Ahlfield. Carl Ahlfield.

A system that kills the E. coli and other bacteria in farm dairy effluent has taken first prize in the South Island Agricultural Field Days’ Agri Innovation Awards.

Ravensdown’s ClearTech dairy effluent treatment system uses a coagulant to bind effluent particles together in order to settle them out from the water. This clarifying process reduces freshwater use, helps existing effluent storage go further and reduces the environmental and safety risk linked with farm dairy effluent (FDE).  

The pilot project, which was installed at the Lincoln University Demonstration Farm in May 2018 was the result of detailed work and represented a $1.5 million investment by Ravensdown. 

 “Farm Dairy Effluent is 99% water,” says product manager Carl Ahlfield. 

“When the particles can be separated, this means cleaner water to wash down the dairy yard or irrigate on to paddocks and less volume of effluent that has to be stored and used safely.”   

The judges commented on the calibre of entrants across the Agri Innovation Awards and were impressed with the collaborative approach to the development of ClearTech. “The application of known technology, used elsewhere, to solve a widely recognised farm-scale problem was truly innovative. It was a bonus that ClearTech would also enhance our clean, green image.”  

Ahlfield believes the development is important because “the dairy sector’s nutrient and bacterial impacts on waterways are under scrutiny, farmers want to demonstrate they are doing the right thing and the government and regional councils are committed to good farming practice.”  

“The sector is crying out for workable solutions that help reduce risk, improve reputation and be cost effective. However, with the safety of farm staff, communities and livestock at stake, any practical solutions need to be thoroughly tested,” concluded Ahlfield. 

Recent Lincoln University studies showed the E. coli concentrations measured in the ClearTech clarified water were also significantly reduced (by around 99.9%) and the average concentration of E. coli in the clarified water was 83% lower than the critical value that is often used to designate water as being suitable for recreational purposes in New Zealand.  

 

More like this

Small things make a big difference

Lamb daily growth rates on sheep farms in New Zealand are in a huge range — from as low as 80g to 350g or more per lamb per day. 

Getting to the top of this range requires attention to detail.

Feed stock properly

In this season we are again asking a lot of our stock, writes Julie Wagner, Ravensdown animal health product manager.

 
 

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Quota watch

The Hound understands that Mike Petersen’s time as NZ agriculture’s special trade envoy will soon end.

What a jerk

Your old mate notes that serial whinger Mike Joy continues to put the boot into the farming sector.

» Connect with Rural News