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Up to date information and happenings with the Dairy Effluent WOF Programme

Dairy Effluent Warrant of Fitness awarded to a Taranaki dairy farm

Blue Rata Investments Ltd of Okato was recently audited by Colin Kay from Opus Consultants, New Plymouth, and awarded the first Dairy Effluent Warrant of Fitness in Taranaki. 

The Dairy Effluent Warrant of Fitness (WoF) is a DairyNZ led scheme designed to improve farm dairy effluent (FDE) infrastructure on farms throughout New Zealand. Under the scheme, certified WoF Assessors undertake WoF’s on farm and determine whether the farm infrastructure meets industry good practice.

Colin, along with other industry professionals, attended the three day Farm Dairy Effluent System Warrant of Fitness course and after a field assessment has been certified as a Warrant of Fitness Assessor.   

Tim Barrett, co-owner of Blue Rata Investments and CEO of Farm Venture said the WoF highlighted some minor deficiencies which we have attended to but overall it was a very pleasing result. 

As part of the visit and assessment, Colin wrote an Effluent Management plan which includes a staff Farm Dairy Effluent orientation and training program. Before staff can operate the effluent system unsupervised they are trained and their competency is signed off by the trainer/farm manager.

An outcome of the assessment is that a fail-safe system is to be installed at the irrigator which will monitor the line pressure and flow and will shut the pump down when there is a problem. It will include a GPS unit which will record position, time and date of effluent applications. This information will be fed into the farm nutrient budget so the nutrients supplied in the effluent can be taken into account when the fertilizer program is updated.

Tim Barrett notes “this gives myself and the other directors the confidence that the effluent system is up to scratch, the staff are trained to run it, and the fail safe system will shut the pump down when there is a problem. Confidence that the farm is fully compliant and is being operated using good industry practice is extremely valuable to owners, and helps us to ensure good use of all nutrients is being obtained.”

Colin Kay who is a member of the Opus Rural Services team, said ”I have been assisting Farm Venture now for the past nine months and I am really impressed with how Tim and his Sharemilkers and their staff have taken on board the requirements to upgrade the effluent system and are right behind the training program we have introduced. The changes now mean that the effluent systems on all the farms comply with the Dairy Industry Code of Practice.”  

Farm Venture has now rolled this out over all of their investment farms to strive for good and reliable practice. The farms will be voluntarily audited with a Warrant of Fitness each year by Opus Consultants to give an outside independent view with the look to maintain or improve performance each year.

For further information contact

Tim Barrett 027 451 7427

Colin Kay 021 569 461

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