A Hamilton soil and water consultant is questioning the effectiveness of the dairy effluent storage calculator on Waikato farms.
Tom Pow says for 20 years HerdHome Systems have helped farmers suit current and future rules while increasing profits to the farming businesses.
Over the years three people have led the business while the Pows stepped back.
Pow says the couple are happy to back leading it again. “During that 20 year period many exciting people worked in advising and selling. It was during the early years the close understanding and participation with the early adopter owners, coupled with a string of scientists led rapid change in farming methods.
“In the last few weeks I have been visiting some of our new clients: again these farmers have enthusiasm for change as they are now back in the drivers’ seat of their farms. This was great to see.
“Not one said “we are all doomed” like the butcher of Dads army.”
Pow says HerdHome System is going into a new phase, matching even more closely the many ideas of loafing use, labour saving, cow and calf safety and health.
Effluent collection and storage is “hands free” with no moving parts; reapplication of effluent timed for best profit.
“Farming with Herdhome Shelters of one of the higher stocked and productive farms in my area, close to both fresh water and salt water areas the environmental results are interesting.”
Pow says independent study results currently shows that after farming for 150 years plus, farming can still successfully exist together with nature.
“Herdhomes are marching on with more and more farmers following; growing the profit and quality gap in NZ farming.
“Years like this with wet winters and long hot-dry summers cows love top-up feeding and shelters. Not just any type of housing but something that cows can flow into at anytime of the day or period of season. If cows need shelter then the loafing area needs to be always ready, with no fear that the area will be spoilt with effluent for use later in the season.”
During 20 years the capturing the effluent without rain or wash water has lead to vast improvement to farm soil nutrients.
Mucky manure spread on farms does not get washed way through soils quickly by rain or irrigators as the more liquid black water would.
Pow says dealing with the hundreds of owner of Herdhomes shelter there are many amazing stories.
“One farmer reckoned that the Herdhomes shelter saved his life. The farm being steep to steeper had already claimed three roll-overs of his silage wagon plus a few down hill thrills. It is now no more taking silage to cows but cows come home to feed. His profit went up amazingly partly from more milk and partly from less repairs and maintenance.”
“A Southland beef farmer was away from his farm when a snow storm hit, his calving beef animals were stranded and his helper on-farm couldn’t drive the mob into the eye of the storm and had to leave some on paddock. In the morning all was well with cows and calves were all in the Herdhome, during the night the new born calves followed their mothering cows walking into the direction of the storm to the warmth of the Herdhome.”