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

 

Interest Rates: RBNZ Hikes OCR To 3.5%, ‘Period Of Assessment’ Now Needed

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler raised the official cash rate as expected, while signalling a pause in rate hikes to assess the impact of moves so far this year. The kiwi dollar sank after Wheeler said its strength was “unjustified” and that the currency could have “a significant fall.” More>>

ALSO:

Fonterra: Canpac Site 'Resize' To Focus More On Paediatrics

Fonterra is looking at realigning its packing operations at Canpac, in the Waikato, to focus more on paediatric nutritionals... The proposed changes could mean around 110 roles may not be required at the site which currently employs 330. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Postie Plus Brand Gets 2nd Chance With Well-Funded Pepkor

The Postie Plus brand is getting a new lease of life after South Africa’s Pepkor bought the failed retailer’s assets out of administration and said it will use its purchasing power to reduce costs of stock and fatten margins. More>>

ALSO:

Warming: Warming Signs From State Of Climate Report

Climate data from air, land, sea and ice in 2013 'reflect trends of a warming planet' -- says the latest State of the Climate report, launched by U.S. and New Zealand scientists. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Embrace Falling Home Affordability, Says NZIER

Despair over the inability to afford a house is misplaced and should be embraced as an opportunity to invest in more wealth-creating activity, says the principal economist at the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, Shamubeel Eaqub. More>>

Productivity Commission: NZ Regulation Not Keeping Pace

New Zealand regulators often have to work with out-of-date legislation, quality checks are under strain, and regulatory workers need better training and development. More>>

ALSO:

Callaghan Innovation: Investment To Help Deepen Innovation Reporting

Callaghan Innovation, the government’s high tech HQ for Kiwi business, is to help deepen New Zealand media coverage of the commercialisation of innovation through an arms-length partnership with independent business news service BusinessDesk. More>>

ALSO:

Tax Credits, Grants: Greens $1Bn R&D Plan

In the Party’s headline economic announcement, the Greens have launched their plan to build a smarter, more innovative economy which has as its centrepiece an additional $1 billion of government investment in research and development (R&D) above current spend, including tax breaks for business. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news