Soils, nutrients and effluent

Nutrient management has a big impact on farm profits. Dairy Australia works with a range of industry and natural resource management partners to help farmers manage fertiliser application, soil health and effluent.


Many farmers are now finding that when they get soil and fertiliser management ‘right’, they can produce more feed at no extra cost, and with careful planning fertiliser becomes a strategic tool to boost feed when it’s most needed. Fert$mart provides farmers and advisors with a planning approach and the know-how to achieve this.

For information about Fert$mart, visit

Effluent and manure management 

Effluent management is an important part of any dairy farm business. Good effluent management has a number of benefits both on and off the farm including:

•   saving money on bought in fertiliser;
•   soil conditioning properties from the organic matter;
•   improved soil moisture-holding-capacity;
•   improved nutrient-holding-capacity; and
•   productivity gains from pasture responses.

A series of short video clips explaining key aspects of effluent management is available from

Each video has an accompanying printable factsheet summarising the video topic, and providing references for further reading or information on the topic.

More information

The Effluent and Manure Management Database for the Australian Dairy Industry.

Visit this site for reliable and scientifically validated technical information on dairy effluent management adaptable to all dairying regions in Australia. This database stores information that underpins state and regional guidelines on dairy effluent management, technical and farmer-based extension programs and educational material.

It includes advice for:

•    On-farm effluent designs
•    Principles for effective effluent management
•    Design criteria for components of effluent containment and reuse systems
•    Decision support systems and relevant tools

Agriculture Victoria maintains a directory of accredited private sector providers who provide effluent design services for dairy farmers.

Anaerobic Digesters

Anaerobic digesters are attracting interest among dairy farmers. However research to date suggests they are unlikely to be viable for pasture based dairy systems.

More information

Is Biogas technology right for Australian Dairy Farms (PDF, 8.8MB)

Biogas technology does not have to be complex or difficult to operate, but it does need to be tailored to the specific needs of the farm in terms of farm management, waste characteristics and biogas use. Read this fact sheet to find out whether it is the right choice for your farm.

Feasibility of biogas technology in the Australian dairy industry (PDF, 68.1KB)

Since 2012 almost 1,400 dairy shed energy assessments have been conducted in all dairy regions across Australia as part of the national Dairy Australia project Smarter energy use on Australian dairy farms, funded by the Department of Industry and Science as part of the Energy Efficiency Information Grants Program. During the project, the potential for implementation of biogas technology for specific situations on dairy farms was raised. This fact sheet summarises information on the feasibility of this technology for the dairy industry.