Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Turning nutrient laden farm water into 100% ‘PUER’ H2O

Turning nutrient laden farm water into 100% ‘PUER’ H2O


With regional plans increasingly looking to place limits on nutrients like nitrogen, an innovative breakthrough in the process of being commercialised illustrates how science and innovation could vastly improve agriculture’s environmental footprint.

“We seem to be locked into a high/low debate relating to farming and the environment,” says Willy Leferink, Federated Farmers dairy chairperson

“To Federated Farmers that seems a linear way of looking at things because it denies the fantastic influence technology can and will play.

“At Fieldays, I was privileged to be a judge and one of the technologies that took my eye was the PUER system, currently being validated by the University of Waikato.

“This is no product endorsement but it can be loosely described as an effluent treatment plant for dairy farm washdown. When you’ve got the herd awaiting milking you collect a heap of poo and urine.

“That’s currently washed into storage ponds and later recycled back to pasture as liquid fertiliser. While this is done well in many circumstances there’s no margin for error.

“Unlike councils, farmers cannot blame bad outcomes on a mechanical breakdown, weather or even carelessness. Get it wrong and your talking Campbell Live, fines and possibly a criminal conviction.

“What if, instead, you could treat that waste to a level where the liquids could be used for stock water or for dairy washdown again? The leftover solids then used to fertilise pasture?

“The system I saw may not be the only system in development but it is certainly one of the first to break cover.

“But we are seriously risking the development of these technologies if we race headlong into unrealistically hard nutrient limits.

“Do that and it means farmers won’t have the means or motivation to invest. The lack of investment means innovators won’t put the leg-work in so we enter a vicious cycle. We also run the risk of strangling hundreds of little communities who rely on the dairy dollar.

“If instead you’ve got nutrient indicators married to a realistic time horizon then you’re talking about a virtuous cycle. You see every kilogram of nitrogen leaching to groundwater is not only just bad for the environment, but it’s like farmers chucking $2 coins into a rubbish bin.

“While any innovation like this must be farm proven and is currently in the advanced pilot stage, it will demand significant investment from us to implement.

“That the company behind PUER has been swamped since Fieldays shows how prepared farmers are to invest into things that will lower their farm environmental footprint

“While this technology relates to just one aspect of our environmental footprint, it illustrates how others will eventually spread out from the milking platform and onto pasture.

“By working with science we will definitely get there so this system is merely the entrée. Yet it is one that could build off the great work farmers are doing in catchments like Rotorua.

“It is also a solid reason why you should never say never,” Mr Leferink concluded.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Media: Julian Wilcox Leaves Māori TV

Māori Television has confirmed the resignation of Head of News and Production Julian Wilcox. Mr Maxwell acknowledged Mr Wilcox’s significant contribution to Māori Television since joining the organisation in 2004. More>>

ALSO:

Genetics: New Heat Tolerant Cow Developed

Hamilton, New Zealand-based Dairy Solutionz Ltd has led an expert genetics team to develop a new dairy cow breed conditioned to thrive in lower elevation tropical climates and achieve high milk production under heat stress. More>>

Fractals: Thousands More Business Cards Needed To Build Giant Sponge

New Zealand is taking part in a global event this weekend to build a Menger Sponge using 15 million business cards but local organisers say they are thousands of business cards short. More>>

Scoop Business: NZ Net Migration Rises To Annual Record In September

New Zealand’s annual net migration rose to a record in September, beating government forecasts, as the inflow was spurred by student arrivals from India and Kiwis returning home from Australia. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Fletcher To Close Its Christchurch Insulation Plant, Cut 29 Jobs

Fletcher Building, New Zealand’s largest listed company, will close its Christchurch insulation factory, as it consolidates its Tasman Insulations operations in a “highly competitive market”. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Novartis Adds Nine New Treatments Under Pharmac Deal

Novartis New Zealand, the local unit of the global pharmaceuticals firm, has added nine new treatments in a far-ranging agreement with government drug buying agency, Pharmac. More>>

ALSO:

Crown Accounts: English Wary On Tax Take, Could Threaten Surplus

Finance Minister Bill English is warning the tax take may come in below forecast in the current financial year, as figures released today confirm it was short by nearly $1 billion in the year to June 30 and English warned of the potential impact of slumping receipts from agricultural exports. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand

Mosh Social Media
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news