Dairy Farmer October 2021

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EFFLUENT

Running on a flexi tank Taranaki farmer and district councillor Grant Boyde had inadequate effluent storage so during the consent renewal process, he upgraded to a Flexi Tank.

By Ross Nolly

Ensuring enough effluent storage was a priority for a Taranaki couple when they went through their consent renewal process.

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Taranaki farmer with an inadequate effluent storage capacity was finding he had to pump it out every day, even in conditions that were not ideal. The system was so problematic to manage without the adequate storage requirements, that when Grant and Anissa Boyde’s effluent consent was coming up for renewal, they realised that it was the perfect time to upgrade. They operate a 65-hectare (60ha effective) Stratford System 2-3 dairy farm, milking 180 mostly crossbred cows. “Our original effluent system was a concrete sump

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that only held the effluent from one milking. It required pumping out to the travelling irrigator every day, whatever the weather,” Boyde says. “We wanted to frontfoot the issue so began investigating our options. Except for storage, we had a pretty good effluent system. We have a travelling irrigator with hydrants that cover a large area of the farm.” Boyde is a Stratford district councillor (SDC) and SDC representative for the Taranaki Regional Council Policy and Planning Committee. The roles keep him very busy, especially in keeping up with ever-evolving reform changes. It’s also why he feels it’s absolutely vital to be seen actively

implementing any regulation changes. The Boydes held three field days before looking at all of the different options and decided on a 300,000 litre Flexi Tank. Flexi Tanks are an enclosed self-supporting bladder that rises and falls in height depending on how much liquid is stored inside. The tanks range in size, with models that can store from 100 to one million litres of effluent. Flexi Tanks are simple to install and eliminate any expensive engineering consent work. The bladder is rolled out on top of a 100mm horizontal bed of sand before being attached to the farm’s effluent system.

“Installing a permanent tank can cost $70,000-$80,000 for our sized farm, whereas a Flexi Tank cost $27,000. There are many small farms in Taranaki, especially in the Stratford district, so that’s a fundamental game-changer,” he says. “If we installed a tank, we would have to site it partway up the farm. We’d then incur the substantial costs of getting power to it. That can amount to many tens of thousands of dollars. There are also extra expenses for a more powerful pump and electricity on top of the tank price. That prompted us to look at other options.” The TRC has always been proactive on environmental issues and the region’s

DAIRY FARMER

October 2021