All good effluent management systems will have the same goal – to maximise the redistribution of effluent nutrients on pasture, while minimising any adverse environmental effects.
By providing animals with clean, dry bedding, composting barns help to improve herd health, and open up the possibility and enhance the productivity of winter milking. A SmartShelters composting barn can be used for:
- Wintering dry cows
- Housing winter milkers
- As a stand-off for cows through wet springs and autumns
- For summer heat stress relief
Composting barns aside, Dairy NZ has a wealth of materials that go into further detail on the different dairy effluent solutions available, and how to develop a management plan that will suit your specific set of circumstances, so it’s wise to check out their library of resources for more information.
How do you spread effluent?
Depending on your effluent management process, your effluent may come out as a solid, sludge or liquid, and the strategies you use to apply the effluent to your pasture will depend on the state that the matter is in. Liquid effluent may be able to be applied with an irrigation system, while solid effluent may need specialist machinery to be effectively spread. Hiring an effluent contractor is a common practice amongst New Zealand dairy farmers.
Unsure about how much effluent to spread? Effective nutrient loadings can be easily calculated with the help of a simple spreadsheet.
What are the risks when applying effluent on my farm?
The most common risk for dairy farmers is spreading too much effluent. This occurrence can negatively affect your property for the long term, by killing pasture, polluting waterways and groundwater, and wasting a valuable resource. Using a calculator such as the one listed above will help to ensure your pastures don’t get too much of a good thing.
Other risks relating to effluent application include:
- Not applying enough effluent
- Applying effluent to waterlogged soil, which can’t absorb it and will leave it sitting on top
- Applying your effluent near a water supply (application must occur a minimum of 50m away from water sources)
- Allowing spray drift to get into nearby streams and waterways
Boasting a team backed by 100 years of experience, and working with the finest materials available, at SmartShelters we’re able to rapidly design and construct agri-shelters with effluent management in mind, and can provide advice on the best effluent strategy for your situation, enabling you to work smarter, sooner.
Contact a member of our experienced team today to discuss a truly smart shelter solution for your property.