Farmers are eagerly anticipating the first of the DairyCare effluent management upgrades, which will see the installation of effluent storage ponds and other vital equipment. Effluent storage ponds store nutrient-rich dairy effluent so it can be used to irrigate and fertilise paddocks in summer.
Grant Evans’ Jindong farm will be one of the first to start construction.
“It will be really good to get our solids pond started this summer and expand our reuse areas with new sprinklers,” he said.
“Improving effluent management is something we all have on our radar as dairy farmers and the DairyCare program has given us that push to improve not only our system, but to ensure we are protecting creeks and rivers from too many nutrients.”
Getting the system design right for each upgrade through carefully detailed effluent plans has been a critical part of the project. Each upgrade needs to account for any proposed changes to herd size and farm labour to manage parts of the system, which may include moving sprinklers and cleaning out ponds and sumps. Recent work has focused on soil testing to ensure ponds won’t leak while they store effluent over the winter before it is spread on pastures over the drier months.
DairyCare Project Coordinator Bree Brown says the upgrades will improve effluent management and protect water quality in the Geographe Bay Catchment.
“Getting effluent management right is really beneficial for farmers, the dairy industry and the environment, and we are all really excited to get the first upgrade started,” she said.