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New biological weapon to combat 'dirty dairying'

Media Release

August 25, 2008

New biological weapon to combat 'dirty dairying'.

New Zealand agribusiness Winslow Ltd has just released a new biological tool to help dairy farmers battling troublesome dairy and swine effluent.

Envirominder® is an enzyme-based effluent pond treatment that is showing great results in eliminating surface crusting, reducing odour emissions, liquefying manure solids, and improving slurry nutrient retention (P & K but especially N).

Crusts forming on top of effluent ponds slow the rate of degradation, add to the release of foul odours and can jam effluent pumps and irrigators. Resulting problems can sometimes be the cause of farmers exceeding their regulatory consent conditions or being accused of 'dirty dairying' practices.

Winslow sales and marketing manager Grant Hay said the registration process for the product showed there was nothing else like it in New Zealand.

"The technology is new here but has been used in the US and the UK for some time, with success. We have been trialing it here in Mid Canterbury since last milking season and found the claims made by the research to be well founded.

"Dairy farmers from around the country have given us very positive feedback. This is no snake oil. Even the ones who didn't apply it as thoroughly as recommended had good results," Mr Hay said.

Regular use of Envirominder® helps liquefy solids, eliminate surface crusting, degrade bottom sludge and greatly reduce foul odours and nitrogen losses from effluent ponds and pits. It increases the amount of effluent that can be spread as a liquid fertilizer, so is an important tool in a wider effluent pond management system. Envirominder is made by one of Winslow's northern hemisphere technology partners, US-based company Micron Bio-Systems, and has been brought to the market in New Zealand by Winslow's Bio-systems division.

"One of our customers milking 1800 cows, whose effluent ponds can crust up to 3ft deep, has found no crusting at all where he used Envirominder®."

Just 1kg of Envirominder® is enough for first application and treatment of 650,000 litres, making it a very cost effective way to deal with dairying's most troublesome byproduct, Mr Hay said.

"Some farmers may not have problems with crusting but many have issues with odour. Others may have problems with pumps or irrigators clogging up with troublesome solids. They would find Envirominder® very useful, potentially saving time and money with reduced machinery breakdowns. It's a low risk investment, even for the very conservative farmer."

Envirominder® contains only naturally occurring unmodified bacteria and enzymes selected for their viability and activity. None of the components are harmful to plants, animals or the environment.

"The release of Envirominder® onto the market in time for the new milking season is timely. It is best used when an effluent pond begins to fill and regular top ups should be made throughout the season," Mr Hay said.

Envirominder® is currently available currently through Winslow, ATS and CRT. Other distribution partners are sought.

"Winslow has a history of providing products and services that provide improved profitability and peace of mind, and have the potential to alter on-farm practices. Envirominder® is one of these," Mr Hay said.

Hosted by Winslow, the developers of Envirominder® - Micron Bio- Systems - are in New Zealand next week to educate key stakeholders' understanding of the use of natural biological tools in farming practices.


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