22 Aug 2014

Rain, snow and more rain - Spring in Southland

This week on the blog we profile one of our Southland customers, Rex & Roslynne Kane and find out how Regen Effluent is helping them manage their dairy effluent during a very soggy Southland spring.

Rex & Roslynne Kane have been sharemilking and in farm ownership in Southland for the past 13 years. They have two properties near Winton; Browns with 480 cows and South Hillend with 450 cows.

Rex & Roslynne installed the Regen Effluent monitoring system on both properties 12-18 months ago to monitor and assess more effectively how much effluent could be applied to their land. Both farms have high risk soils and require careful daily management to ensure effluent is applied at rates that do not cause runoff or drainage. The effluent is applied using low application k-lines to around 70% of each farm. Rex & Roslynne treat the effluent as a nutrient input and therefore want to know that when the effluent is applied it is able to be utilised by the soil for grass growth and not be wasted.

Regen Effluent is used as a daily management tool on Browns and South Hillend farms to monitor when and how much effluent can be applied. Like other Regen customers, Rex finds not having to guess how much effluent he can apply while still meeting his compliance obligations gives him peace of mind. He also finds the Regen service is useful for accountability purposes. He knows what the pond levels are and whether effluent has actually been applied. This is especially helpful if he is away from the farms.

This winter and spring in Southland has been extremely wet and consequently a very challenging environment for managing effluent. Environment Southland has recognised that these conditions have implications around effluent application and storage for effluent ponds. They are working with farmers who face problems allowing them to temporarily apply effluent outside their effluent consent conditions during the ongoing extremely wet conditions. Rex has seen the benefit of using the Regen system to monitor soil moisture and effluent pond levels during this period.

In the future Rex & Roslynne are looking at upgrading their systems to include having pump sensors to record when the pumps have been in use, and GPS sensors on the k-lines to show where effluent has been applied each day. The ultimate aim is to be able to demonstrate compliance without the need for onsite farm inspections. Rex has found the Regen effluent service has made it easier to demonstrate to Environment Southland that he has met his compliance requirements.

www.nzregen.co.nz

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