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

 

Post-Post: Brian Roche To Step Down As NZ Post CEO

Brian Roche will step down as chief executive of New Zealand Post in April 2017, having led the state-owned postal service's drive to adjust to shrinking mail volumes with a combination of cost cuts, asset sales, modernisation and expansion of new businesses. More>>

ALSO:

Company Results: Air NZ Rides The Tourism Boom With Record Full-Year Earnings

Air New Zealand has ridden the tourism boom and staved off increased competition to deliver the best full-year earnings in its 76-year history. More>>

ALSO:

New PGP: Sheep Milk Industry Gets $12.6M Crown Funding

The Sheep - Horizon Three programme aims to develop "a market driven, end-to-end value chain generating annual revenues of between $200 million and $700 million by 2030," according to a joint statement. More>>

ALSO:

Half Full: Fonterra Raises Forecast Milk Price

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited today increased its 2016/17 forecast Farmgate Milk Price by 50 cents to $4.75 per kgMS. When combined with the forecast earnings per share range for the 2017 financial year of 50 to 60 cents, the total payout available to farmers in the current season is forecast to be $5.25 to $5.35 before retentions. More>>

ALSO:

Keep Digging: Seabed Ironsands Miner TransTasman Tries Again

The first company to attempt to gain a resource consent to mine ironsands from the ocean floor in New Zealand's Exclusive Economic Zone has lodged a new application containing fresh scientific and other evidence it hopes will persuade regulators after their initial application was turned down in 2014. More>>

Wool Pulled: Duvets Sold As ‘Premium Alpaca’ Mostly Sheep’s Wool

Rotorua business Budge Collection Limited (Budge) and sole director, Sun Dong Kim, were convicted and fined a total of $71,250 in Auckland District Court after each pleading guilty to four charges of misrepresenting how much alpaca fibre was in their duvets. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news