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Water Minister visits Geographe Dairy Farms

Minister for Water, the Hon Dave Kelly MLA visited a Busselton dairy this month for an overview of DairyCare effluent and fertiliser projects in the catchment.

The DairyCare project is addressing nutrient runoff from dairy farms under the Revitalising Geographe Waterways program.

Dairy farmer Wesley Lammie showed Minister Kelly through the farm’s dairy shed and outlined proposed changes to improve their effluent system. “We have recently invested in new equipment to reuse effluent on our pastures and are close to finalising our effluent management plan through the DairyCare project,” explained Wesley.

The Geographe Catchment supports close to a quarter of the dairy farms in the state and is an important industry on a local and state scale.

Due to the importance of the dairy industry and the contribution of nutrients to waterways in the catchment, GeoCatch has been working with Western Dairy and Geographe farmers over the last 15 years to reduce nutrient loss off dairy farms.

 “Our ongoing partnership with Western Dairy is critical to the success of our programs,” said GeoCatch DairyCare Coordinator Bree Brown, “The Minister was impressed with our engagement with the industry and local dairy farmers.”

Most dairy farmers in the Geographe Catchment have been involved in incentivised dairy effluent upgrades and over 40% of farms have been involved in comprehensive soil testing and nutrient mapping projects.

Both areas of nutrient management involve many challenges but GeoCatch remains committed to working with farmers and the dairy industry to improve water quality and assist in farmers being able to reuse nutrients on dairy farms.

The DairyCare project was launched in May 2016 and is being delivered by GeoCatch in partnership with Western Dairy through Revitalising Geographe Waterways project.

Photo caption: GeoCatch DairyCare Coordinator Bree Brown, Hon Dave Kelly BA MLA Minister for Water; Fisheries; Forestry; Innovation and ICT; and Science, dairy farmer Wesley Lammie and Brian Piesse (Western Dairy).

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