RBS through the SA River Murray Sustainability Irrigation Industry Improvement Program (SARMS 3IP) assisted primary producers in their applications to return eligible water access entitlements back to the environment to improve profitability and productivity.
RBS’s Farm Business Advisor, John Christensen worked on one of the successful applications for a Meningie based dairy client. The project, valued at around $2 million is a showcase facility for intensive dairy production which has increased the size of the milking herd and maximised production per cow. A new effluent management system will increase the economic viability and sustainability of the property.
John worked closely with the client over 10 weeks commencing with an initial meeting to run through the farmer’s vision of the project and to collate all relevant information required for the application. Project development included liaison with Government departments and industry experts; compiling costings; producing project budget and financial projections to ensure feasibility. The project concluded in preparation and submission of the application ensuring compliance with guidelines were met.
Construction of the state of the art feeding and loafing facility is 192m x 45m which is 42m longer than the play
Covering the surface of Adelaide Oval with more than a hectare under cover allowing for an increase to the milking herd. The facility will enable the enterprise to milk the herd all year round without exposure to the seasonal stresses of summer heat and the wet and muddy conditions of winter. It will reduce wastage of home grown and purchased fodder with studies showing it has the potential of up to 10% reduction in feed wastage. Emphasising cow comfort and feed efficiency, the facility will maximise production per cow with an expected increase in milk production of 10-15%.
Incorporating an effluent management system and new effluent pond (90m x 30 x 4m) into the project allows the capture of effluent from the dairy to be reused for the flushing of the feeding and loafing facility. It will then be captured with the separated solids being treated to become compost and the liquid portion being injected into the existing centre pivots to grow fodder. The current wash from the dairy is sent to a separation pond which is evaporated off and not utilised.
Modernisation of existing pivots with telemetry and automation of values with pumping station upgrades.