Effluent is an incredibly valuable and effective source of nutrients. Many of our customers are turning to applying their own to reduce costs and improve crop and pasture performance. 

The team at FarmChief are specialists in slurry and effluent management and application. Below we examine seven ways the New Zealand farmer can increase their profitability when spreading or applying effluent. 

1)  Ensure your farm has adequate storage

The effluent pond or tank is where it all starts, and making sure you have a large enough area to store the effluent is the key to setting you up for success. If you have a pond or tank that is too small for your needs, you’ll end up having to apply your effluent at less desirable times like winter or spring. Applying in conditions where the ground is already waterlogged will reduce the effectiveness of your effluent and increase run-off into waterways. No one wants to spend their time doing sub-optimal work. 

Alternatively, you’ll wind up relying on contractors to remove your product, increasing your costs. 

2) Stir, Stir, Stir!

Maintaining the effluent in your pond or tank can be a tricky (and dirty) business. However, mixing your pond frequently is vital to maximising the performance and nutritional output of the material, delivering optimum pasture or crop yield. 

Not only will a well-incorporated pond look and smell better, but you’ll also see a significant increase in your storage capacity. A well-incorporated product is also easier on your equipment and is easier to apply, whilst being better for the plants – allowing for faster absorption of nutrients. 

Read our article on the top 5 benefits of regular pond maintenance | Explore FarmChief’s range of pond stirrers and mixer/pumps. 

3)  Check the nutrient levels

The science behind nutrients and fertiliser is fascinating. Applying too little or too much results in your pasture not performing as well as it could, leaving your herd under-nourished or with health issues, and you’ll need to bring additional feed to turn their health around. 

Applying too much effluent may result in: 

  • Surface ‘ponding’, where effluent sits on top of the soil. This will damage your pasture and expose your heard to harmful bacteria. Not to mention that it looks bad. 
  • Runoff from paddocks into waterways, polluting streams and rivers and likely placing you in violation of effluent compliance with your local council, and wasting good nutrients! 
  • Polluted groundwater, where effluent has seeped too deep into the soil. 
  • Poor fertilisation – if you over-apply, you’ll find some effluent will seep past the root zone before the plants have the chance to absorb it, wasting your time. 
4)  Long-term paddock rotation planning

Creating high-value effluent is only part of the equation. To achieve the best possible result, you also need to manage and plan when you apply your effluent. This involves creating a long-term plan of action, taking into account:

  • Waterways and natural drainage
  • Prevailing wind direction and local weather patterns throughout the year
  • Your variety of soil types
  • The topography of the land, paying attention to slopes and likely run-off or ‘ponding’ location

Alternatively, you’ll wind up relying on contractors to remove your product, increasing your costs. This will allow you to identify the high-risk or undesirable locations for applying effluent, alongside the high-performance areas. 

5)  Apply the correct amount of effluent!

It seems simple, but balancing volume with nutrient levels can be challenging. Having a higher-quality effluent to apply makes things significantly easier as it reduces the volume required to achieve the desired levels. Any excess liquid applied may seep into the groundwater, run into waterways or produce ponding. 

6)  Quit watering it down.

It’s simple, really; The more water that goes into your effluent pond, the less nutritional it is, per litre. It also takes more storage space and takes more effort and cost to apply (more time in the tractor). 

You can’t control the nutrient levels that go into the pond, but you can stop watering them down by using less water during wash down. You may even see additional savings, like electricity and maintenance costs pumps and other equipment. 

7)  Select the best application method for your needs

Many options exist for putting your effluent onto your paddocks, each with pros and cons depending on your application depth, terrain, farm size and budget.

FarmChief stocks a range including umbilical hose solutions, muck spreaders and effluent tankers, each with a variety of applicators like splash plates, dribble bars, trailing shoes or disc injectors. Our experts can help identify the ideal solution for your needs – contact us for more information.


FarmChief Machinery leads New Zealand in a variety of slurry and effluent solutions. We offer implements built to tackle the toughest conditions around whilst improving productivity, driving down costs and creating a better outcome. 

Click Here To Contact One Of Our Experts | Click Here To Visit Our Effluent & Slurry Products | Watch the FarmChief Range