Tuesday, 17 January 2012 11:36

Bigger numbers to effluent expo

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More than 40 exhibitors will be attending this year's Effluent Expo at Mystery Creek, organised by Waikato Regional Council and sponsored by DairyNZ.

This compares to 25 exhibitors at last year's inaugural event, says agriculture advisor Kate Ody.

"The buzz around last year's event has certainly helped lift exhibitor numbers this year. Another factor is that we've encouraged more exhibitors to come to provide farmers with the ability to see a wider range of effluent solutions, which they can match to the unique circumstances of their farm.

"We've also opened up invitations to the pork industry as effluent issues aren't limited to dairying. Many of the industry exhibitors will provide effluent solutions across the different agricultural sectors."

The 2012 Effluent Expo will be held on Tuesday, February 28 between 9am and 3.30pm at the Mystery Creek Events Centre.

Ody says farmer attendance could be further boosted this year as Bay of Plenty Regional Council has let dairy farmers in its area know about it, and the Auckland Council has publicised it with farmers south of Auckland.

The expo comes at a time when the regional council is looking to do more to protect water quality and water resources in the Waikato from the impacts of intensive agriculture, especially nutrients and bacteria from dairying and other livestock farming.

"Expos are a good way of providing information to farmers about having an effective effluent system which helps them maximise their profits and minimise their environmental footprint," says Ody.

"There will be an opportunity to see how the effluent pond storage calculator applies to individual farms using Waikato data." (The calculator was originally developed by Massey University and Horizons Regional Council.)

"Effluent issues affect all livestock farms so it's well worth a look," says Ody.

"Besides what the exhibitors have to offer, there will be a number of optional seminars and demonstrations to take in, which will be repeated throughout the day."

Seminar topics include:

• DairyNZ sponsored - Design and construction of dairy effluent storage ponds (Theresa Wilson, DairyNZ and Rex Corlett, Opus)

• Financial implications of system upgrades - paying to perform (Geoff Cotton, National Bank)

• Smart water use for effluent management (Gord Stewart and Wayne Berry, DairyNZ)

• Optimising effluent management using storage (David Houlbrooke, AgResearch)

• Consented discharges of treated effluent to waterways - the next steps (Natasha Hayward, Waikato Regional Council)

• Making the most of pig effluent and staying compliant (Jaye Hill, NZ Pork and Kate Ody Waikato Regional Council)

• Biogas opportunities from stored pig effluent (Stephan Huebeck, NIWA)

Regional council staff will be on hand to answer questions about complying with council rules on effluent management.

Outside the venue visitors will be able to see demonstrations of a range of effluent irrigators.

More information about the expo can be found at www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/forfarmers

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