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Published: 2013-03-27 00:00:00

Around 500 farmers turned up at yesterday’s Effluent Expo at Mystery Creek near Hamilton, a “very healthy” sign of the industry’s commitment to doing the right thing with effluent, says Waikato Regional Council.

Putaruru farm workers Daniel McConnell (left) and Chad Holdaway examining a PTO pump at the Williams stand.

"Despite the pressures farmers are under due to the drought we saw another large turnout at this expo, the third annual event we have run,” said environmental farming systems manager Alan Campbell.

“Waikato farmers are really buying into the idea that good effluent management not only protects the environment but also helps their financial bottom line. They deserve a great deal of credit for their efforts to improve their effluent management systems.”

The expo, which featured 44 exhibitors, offered advice on maximizing the value on farm of nutrients in effluent to grow pasture, while ensuring that effluent and the nutrients do not contaminate waterways and groundwater.

Mr Campbell said he thought a strong part of the success of the expos has been their singular focus on effluent management.

“All the farmers turning up are looking for solutions. Farmers are genuinely keen to improve their performance for both financial and environmental reasons.

“Having adequate storage so that farmers can irrigate with effluent at the right time is particularly important. Storage solutions are influenced by soils, climate and farm systems factors so we recommend farmers consult an accredited farm dairy effluent designer before making investment decisions.

“We want to continue to work closely with farmers to help them make improvements generally, taking into account the individual circumstances of farms.

“One particularly good thing for the Waikato is that there are now nine Farm Dairy Effluent System Design accredited suppliers in our region to provide great advice for farmers looking to upgrade.”