Managing manure - there could be an app for that

Cow herds

The Victorian dairy industry is trending towards more intensive dairy production and larger herds.

But with greater herd numbers, comes more manure and a greater risk of it polluting natural waterways.

Monash Science students Brady Cronin, Loren Pugh and Tom Carney are exploring a novel solution to tackling the manure surplus on Victorian dairy farms.

They have envisioned a 'Manure Connect' platform, which could connect dairy farmers with excess manure to consumers via a website or phone app, while providing access to information and resources.

“The purpose of our project is to redistribute the manure to prevent the issue becoming exacerbated in the future,” Loren said.

With the new Environment Protection Regulations due to come into effect in July 2020, a greater onus will be placed on dairy farmers to assess the risks of their farms to the environment and implement strategies to prevent potential detrimental effects.

“Our new platform will form a ‘manure market’ and allow farmers to better manage the manure overload on their land,” Brady said.

The trio will present their idea to key stakeholders within the dairy industry at their Manure Connect workshop on October 10.

“We hope to communicate the research we have done on the regulations, manure market and viability of transport for manure-sharing, while compiling a list of next steps such that we can provide recommendations for future work,” Loren said.

The workshop has been organised as a collaboration between Agriculture Victoria and the students, who are completing their project as part of their honour’s year of a Monash Science Advanced Global Challenges degree.


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