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Chap Zwiers, Dairy Farmer - Waikato

Chap's Pond Was Too Thick To Stir!

Chap’s Pond Was Too Thick To Stir!

It’s no wonder Chap Zwiers’ 520 cow dairy farm has such luscious green grass…just take a look at his effluent pond!

To describe the nutrients in Chap’s effluent pond as rich would be an understatement. His cows have the luxury of a large covered feedpad looking out to green pastures on one side, and the effluent pond on the other. With just a short journey from feedpad to pond, the slurry is very thick. So thick that Chap thought he might need to install a solid separator.

‘With all the effluent from the feedpad, the pond was just too thick and the stirrer was struggling. I’d been thinking solid separation might be the answer, but I didn’t want to deal with 2 products if I didn’t have to.’

Chap’s brother-in-law had used Nevada before and was more than pleased with the results, so Chap picked up the phone to ask for some advice.

Chap Zwiers Dairy Farm

‘The slurry was thick alright, but nothing a good stirrer in the right location couldn’t handle.’

Michael Prestidge – Nevada Effluent Management Specialist

Chap Zwiers Feedpad

The problem wasn’t the slurry, it was that the original stirrer had been placed in the wrong location and didn’t have enough power to churn through the amount of solids entering the pond. Given the size and shape of the pond, Mike recommended a 9m Nevada electric stirrer be placed on the adjacent side of the pond to the inlet.

‘This minimises the work the stirrer needs to do because it’s not too far away from where the solids enter the pond, so they don’t have as much time to settle.’

Michael Prestidge – Nevada Effluent Management Specialist

Chap had been expecting to need solids separation and given his last stirrer from another supplier hadn’t worked out, he was naturally sceptical of Mike’s advice.

‘I didn’t want to go to the effort of getting a new one [stirrer] installed in a new spot, only to find it didn’t work out either and I should have just gone for the solid separator.’

Chap asked Mike if he’d be prepared to guarantee the stirrer would work and take it out if it didn’t. Mike was confident in his advice, and so the stirrer was installed.

The results?

‘Well she’s still in there! The advice was spot on. I was a bit surprised how much of a difference a good stirrer in the right location can make. It’s definitely worth consulting with specialists with a proven record.’

Chap Zwiers Effluent Pond

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Last yr I did ½ the paddock in effluent and ½ in conventional ferts. The effluent side had a much bigger yield and the cobs were massive. There was a huge difference!

Rongotea Dairy Farmer
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