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Thomas Scheres, Dairy Farmer - South Waikato

We saw something that looked better, and we gave it a go.

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We saw something that looked better, and we gave it a go.

Thomas Scheres, Dairy Farmer - South Waikato

Located in South Waikato, Naumi Farms is owned and operated by the Scheres Brothers.  Spread over 100 hectares, with 420 cows, they run a system 5 farm with a large covered feed-pad, meaning imported feed (approx 25-40%) is used all year throughout lactation, and for dry cows.  The contours are mainly rolling, with some steep areas, and some areas backing onto roads and residential areas, so wind can be an issue.

 
Effluent is stored in 2 ponds, the first catches the solids, the second pond is used for green waste, floodwash and additional storage.  Most effluent pumping is done directly from the first pond.
 
We talk to Thomas & Peter Scheres about how some simple upgrades transformed their operations, making it more efficient, with less hassles.
 
 
Tell us a bit about your farm and how you used to manage your effluent
 
'We have a high input system 5 farm.  We use greenwater from the second pond to floodwash the covered feedpad.
 
The effluent is collected in the first pond which we mix and pump directly to pasture.  We can cover 95% of the farm 3x a year.  Even though we have a lot of solids, we keep it all very simple.  Just mix and pump to pasture.
 
We bought a Nevada stirrer a few years ago - it was amazing!  Mixes the pond super fast and those wooden bearings work a treat.  No oil to worry about, they are very low maintenance.
 
To spread we always just had a rain gun.  Had to be very careful next to roadsides and houses, and if it was a windy day, you’d be shovelling shit!  We still do use it, but we try to use the RainWave™ 9 out of 10 times.  With the RainWave™ we get the volume out quicker as well.  You get the same area, but you probably do it faster with the RainWave™.  Plus it’s a more even application.  We can go right up to the edges of the roads, and right next to the houses no matter what the weather is doing.'

What led you to make the changes on your effluent management system?
 
'We saw it [RainWave™] in your advertising, then you didn’t have it!  We got the very first one!
 
We saw it, and saw something that looked better, and we gave it a go.'  

Why did you decide to implement a Nevada system?
 
'With the stirrer I wanted something that would have no maintenance compared with others.  That’s why I like your one.
The first time we used it, within 5 minutes we had the whole crust up.  Would have taken at least half an hour with the old one, trying to use it.  Then half an hour greasing the old thing too.
 
So I would recommend a Nevada PTO stirrer, anyway.'

Now that the system is up and running, what are some of the improvements you’ve noticed?
 
'Even distribution, quicker pumping.  You’d almost say it’s easier on the pump.  It’s cruisy eh.
 
The other thing, part of it is we got a new pump as well.  So we can pump further.  In the next week or so I’ll be double pumping right at the back of the farm using the RainWave™.  Something we’ve never ever done before.
 
Less time agitating, faster time pumping.'
 
So you think effluent nutrients helps the farms?
 
'Oh yeah.  Effluent is great stuff.  We don’t use much fertiliser at all.  Last year we only put an 8 tonne over one area, and now that we’re double pumping we don’t need to get the helicopter [to spread fertiliser].  We can get effluent up there.'
 
What would you say to other dairy farmers considering investing in dairy effluent management?
 
'We’d definitely use you guys.  We think you’ve got good products.
 
I was tired of pumping shit, you know.  On a windy day, on a tractor, just running around trying to avoid the wind. Now we can just sit on the tractor and pump a lot faster and a lot more accurately.  Before it was a lot of hit and miss.  We were just dragging it along everywhere.  
 
I would have no hesitation in recommending Nevada.  In fact I already have.  I see people spraying effluent all over the show and meanwhile I’m in my tractor applying it more evenly with less mess.'

Learn more about the Nevada 
RainWave™ Drag Hose System here

My Rainwave™ lowers my pond super fast!  it makes better use of my pond nutrients with less mess and odour…why would I choose anything else?’

Dairy Farmer - Rainwave Drag Hose System
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