Ag Tour 2020 - Day 2
In line with the sustainable Agricultural production theme of our excursion, our first visit of day two was to Blantyre piggery, Young. This incredible facility produces 1000 pigs each week weighing an average of 125kgs. The two stage piggery is completely independent of the grid with all pig waste being collected and fermented under a large biogas membrane which then fuels a converted diesel generator. This piece of equipment cost $1.8 million and has paid for itself in two years. The piggery now supplies electricity to the national grid. The pigs are even more environmentally sustainable because 90% of their diet is human food products that would otherwise go to waste in landfill. On our visit we saw pigs eating a mix of fish fingers, cottage cheese, remnants chocolate manufacturing, flavoured milk, pasta, as well as pig pellets. Owner of the piggery, Mrs Edwina Beveridge, said the carbon neutral status of their pork production system was definitely of huge value in promoting pig meat from Blantyre Farms as an environmentally sustainable meat production system.
Picture 1 Blantyre farms Edwina Beveridge show students the wide range of human food products including long life milk that would otherwise go to landfill that is used as pig food.
Picture 2: the methane collection facility at Blantyre farms. Pig waste is flushed into holding dams covered by a large plastic membrane. Micro organisms break down the waste releasing methane which is burned to produce carbon dioxide which is 25 times less harmful to the environment. This produces electricity to provide heat and drive processes at the farm.
Picture 3: students saw a wide range of food products including mustard seed be used to supplement the pig rations.
Picture 4: while this mixed up food looks unattractive it is saving the environment from a huge amount of human food waste. This slurry contains fish fingers, breakfast cereal, milk, cheese, pasta, and even chocolate ice cream.