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

 

Season Ends: Is Whitebaiting Sustainable?

The whitebait fry - considered a delicacy by many - are the juveniles of five species of galaxiid, four of which are considered threatened or declining. The SMC asked freshwater experts for their views on the sustainability of the whitebait fishery and whether we're doing enough to monitor the five species of galaxiid that make up whitebait. More>>

ALSO:

Crown Accounts: Smaller-Than-Expected Four-Month Deficit

The New Zealand government's accounts recorded a smaller-than-forecast deficit in the first four months of the fiscal year on a higher-than-expected inflow of corporate and goods and services tax. More>>

ALSO:

On For Christmas: KiwiRail Ferries Back In Full Operation After Quake

KiwiRail’s Interislander ferries are back in full operation for the first time since the Kaikoura earthquake, with the railspan that allows rail wagons to be loaded on the Aratere now restored. More>>

ALSO:

Comerce Commission Investigation: Prosecutions Over Steel Mesh Labelling

Steel & Tube Holdings, along with two other companies, will be prosecuted by the Commerce Commission following the regulator's investigation into seismic steel mesh, while Fletcher Building's steel division has been given a warning. More>>

ALSO:

Wine: 20% Of Marlborough Storage Tanks Damaged By Quake

An estimated 20 percent of wine storage tanks in the Marlborough region, the country’s largest wine producing area, have been damaged by the impact of the recent Kaikoura earthquake. More>>

ALSO:

ACC: Levy Recommendations For 2017 – 2019 Period

• For car owners, a 13% reduction in the average Motor Vehicle levy • For businesses, a 10% reduction in the average Work levy, and changes to workplace safety incentive products • For employees, due to an increase in claims volumes and costs, a 3% increase in the Earners’ levy. More>>

Women's Affairs: Government Accepts Recommendations On Pay Equity

The Government will update the Equal Pay Act and amend the Employment Relations Act to implement recommendations of the Joint Working Group on Pay Equity. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news