Slurry Tanker: Jeanette & Neil Took A Proactive Approach To Discharge Consent

Jeanette Bryham owns a dairy farm in Waipu, Northland. Alongside sharemilker Neil Troost, they milk 300 cows right through Winter. So there’s a fair amount of effluent to take care of…

Currently having discharge consent, Jeanette and Neil would discharge over winter through a 4 pond system and wetland.  Over summer months they’d do their best to utilise effluent nutrients from the storage ponds that collect effluent from the milking shed and a feed pad. When possible, their neighbour would use his Nevada slurry tanker to empty the pond and spread.

Jeanette and Neil could see the value in applying effluent to land. They could also see that discharge consents were not to be relied on in the future.

  • ‘We wanted to make a proactive improvement to how we managed effluent. Get in early and give ourselves time to adjust. Now that Fonterra have made it a condition of supply, we’re glad we did!’
    Neil Troost

Impressed by the neighbour’s Nevada slurry tanker, and from his recommendation, they gave Nevada a call to work out a plan.

  • ‘We Winter milk and collect effluent from the feed pad, so there’s a lot of nutrients we can be making use of. We wanted to make sure there was plenty of storage so we never have to worry about it.’
    Neil Troost

As a contingency, one of the oxidation ponds was extended and converted into a second effluent storage pond. 

Effluent pond
  • ‘We've increased the size of our second pond 4 fold. The plan is to suck from the first smaller pond with a slurry tanker as much as possible, then use the larger second pond during times we can’t apply effluent to land.’
    Neil Troost

With more effluent to spread, Jeanette and Neil thought it would be wise to invest in their own slurry tanker to spread when and where they wanted. Jeanette’s son, Gordon was more than happy to take on the job of driving it.

  • ‘It’s a real easy job. We just follow the cows in rotation. So far there haven’t been any times we couldn’t spread.’
    Gordon Bryham
12,800L Nevada Slurry Tanker

One of the reasons they chose to spread with a slurry tanker was the versatility. The tanker can suck thick slurry from any of the ponds and can also be used to clean out the feed pad and troughs. There are also no limitations to spreading all over the farm – including around odd-shaped paddocks.

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