Work at the Southern Dairy Hub, including the effluent system and dairy shed, are on track.

Effluent system siteworks


Work at the Southern Dairy Hub, including the effluent system and dairy shed, are on track.

This week’s activities

  • Both roofs are now on the dairy shed and research facilities. Rollers have been secured in place in preparation for the dairy platform to be installed within the week
  • The North Western Block is now fully fenced with 2.5mm high tensile wire and two handled bungy gates with safely bobbles
  • The old wool shed on site has been stripped and gutted in preparation for the retro-fit for the new calf shed facilities. The flooring will be packed with gravel and artificial drainage in the form of Novaflow which will enable collection of effluent. This will be connected into the main effluent system and piped back to the pond
  • Existing tiles in the South Western Block of the farm have been cleaned and where required repaired if broken
  • In lower lying paddocks, 300mm culverts have been installed across the laneways to assist with drainage. They tend to be in the South West Block
  • Layout for the implement shed will be a three bay shed, one enclosed lockable bay and two open bays which will contain the dosatron system. The dimensions will be 9m by 14m. Gravel foundations have been laid and rolled
  • Fodder beet crops have reached canopy closure and in some patches have a degree of nettle ingression. Chou crops have reached the top of the baleage
  • Lanes are settling out and being left to bed in
  • Grazing is being arranged for the new young grass on the North Western Block which is now fully fenced and subdivided
  • The young grass which was direct drilled on the Southern Block has struck well with clover and ryegrass emerging and forming a green cover
  • Both houses on farm are now being gib stopped and painted, with brick work not far behind. Both are secure and weather tight

Young grass sprayed for weeds:

Thirty-eight paddocks of young grass on the North Western Block (full cultivation seedbed prep) required spraying to clean-up weeds present. Main weeds included wild turnip, fathen, annual poa, shepherds purse, spurrey and seedling docks.

Six paddocks were sprayed with a mix of Headstart @ 1ltr/ha and Troptox 4ltr/ha kindly supplied by Zeafam.

Thirty-two paddocks were sprayed with Tribal Gold @ 5ltrs/ha and Bonza at 400ml/ha kindly supplied by Nufarm.

Effluent system:

 The effluent system has been designed for 1500 cows, yet the plan is to only milk 800-820. This has been necessary as part of the consenting process to allow for future research around the environmental footprint under intensive systems.

Waterforce has been the lead contractor, RDAgritech has been responsible for design and consents, Southern Excavation has completed the ground works and Paul Warren Building the weeping walls and construction work.


Southern Dairy Hub effluent system design by RDAgritech


Southern Dairy Hub effluent pond design by RDAgritech


Southern Dairy Hub sludge bed & weeping walls design by RDAgritech

The effluent system is a two sludge bed weeping wall system into a lined pond irrigated via a traveling irrigator.

Technical specifications:

  • 6400m3 main storage pond, pond liner, geo textile fabric, drainage under liner.
  • Twin bed weeping wall construction with GCL It is designed to hold up to 180 days worth of solids and 180 days worth of drying before cleaning and applying to land.
  • Inspection chamber with lid, 500m x 160mm
  • 4m deep x 500m trench requires trench shield
  • A GB Magnum Traveling Irrigator will be used to apply The irrigator has an average application rate of 6-8mm/hr and is capable of application depths as low as 3.5mm
  • 198ha of land is consented for FDE



Farm dairy effluent application areas

Milestone targets:

  • 30th April, effluent system operational
  • 1st May, research facilities completed
  • 1st May, dairy shed completed
  • 5th May, calf sheds, silage pads and implement bay shed finished
  • 20th May, cows on farm

Want to be part of this project?

If you would like to make a pledge, please visit our website. For all those who have pledged already, thank you.

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