July1 , 2022

Techniques to manage the environmental impact of piggeries

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Techniques to manage the environmental impact of piggeries

As a piggery operator, you must take steps to make sure your business minimises its impact on the surrounding environment and community. Key issues are waste and odour management.

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Managing manure

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Effluent and manure by-products generated in a piggery are valuable sources of water, nutrients and organic matter. You are required to re-use by-products in ways that will not harm the environment.

You should construct effluent ponds to industry standards and ensure that effluent re-use does not damage soil. Establish composting sites with good surface drainage that pose no risk of run-off to water sources. Take safety precautions when working with potentially dangerous effluent storages.

Managing odour

Odour generated from piggeries is usually caused by decomposing manure and waste food. Odour management involves appropriate shed design, effluent collection and disposal systems, and overall piggery management.

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Practical techniques to manage odour include:

Improving shed ventilation

keeping drains clean

sweeping or hosing lanes and pens regularly to avoid manure build-up

flushing sheds twice daily

providing deep litter pens

dumping static-pit sheds weekly, or more often

covering anaerobic ponds with straw and permeable polypropylene

avoiding ponding and effluent irrigation during wet periods

covering carcasses immediately with soil.

Read more about managing odour and pig carcass composting.

Resources to help you manage piggeries

Self-help resources are available to help you manage the potential environmental impacts of your business. These include:

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The National Environmental Guidelines for Piggeries is a guide to achieving ecologically sustainable development that covers environmental management plans, waste management guidelines, stormwater management and other practical techniques.

The National Environmental Guidelines for Rotational Outdoor Piggeries is an additional guide for the design and operation of outdoor or free range piggeries.

The Piggery assessment spreadsheet helps you to perform calculations for preparing permit applications, helps document piggery design and management practices, and encourages more effective use of water and nutrient resource.

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