Posted 21 December 2023
Zeolite has been around for millions of years. StockRock has been trusted by New Zealand farmers for a few years as well, but in recent times with crazy weather patterns Zeolite has proven itself above the rest.
Zeolite is a naturally occurring mineral we are lucky enough to have in the South Waikato. It has extraordinary properties and is recognised as a robust and environmentally friendly alternative for farm races and tracks. Some of the key properties that make Zeolite a better farm race surface than traditional surfaces like brown rock, sand and limestone include:
1. Remarkable Drainage Capability
Zeolite boasts an exceptional ability to absorb and retain water. When used as a dairy farm race surface, it effectively manages rainwater, preventing surface runoff and erosion. Zeolite's porous structure enables it to soak up moisture, keeping the track surface stable and free from mud.
2. Unwavering Traction
Even when it is wet Zeolite maintains its grip, providing a secure and stable path for farm vehicles of any kind, as well as heavier machinery. This reliability significantly reduces the risk of accidents and ensures that farm operations run smoothly, even during adverse weather conditions which are becoming more common.
3. Longevity and Minimal Maintenance
Zeolite surfaces are renowned for their longevity. Once properly installed, they require far less maintenance compared to traditional surfaces. The reduced need for constant repairs and replenishment translates to substantial cost savings for farmers over time. This is a key consideration if you are comparing costs of alternative surfaces – Zeolite will generally last longer, making it more cost effective on a year by year basis.
4. Eco-Friendly Advantages
Opting for Zeolite farm surfaces is a sustainable choice that aligns with eco-friendly farming practices. Its moisture retention and erosion prevention capabilities contribute to soil conservation and reduce the environmental impact of farming activities such as run-off into waterways.
5. Animal Welfare
Zeolite reduces lameness in dairy cows. Other surfaces like rotten rock have small sharp edges that can get into hooves and cause irritation and damage, whereas Zeolite doesn't harm livestock. When you have less lameness you have more milk production which means more profits.
While Zeolite farm surfaces offer a promising solution, proper planning and installation is essential for optimal results. A couple of key considerations include:
Expert Installation. To ensure the best performance, Zeolite surfaces should be installed by experienced professionals. This involves proper preparation, crowning and grading and compacting of the sub-base, accurate application of Zeolite, and effective compaction to create a stable and enduring farm race.
Cost-Effectiveness. As explained earlier, while the initial cost of installing Zeolite farm surfaces may be slightly higher than traditional materials, the long-term savings in maintenance expenses make it a cost-effective investment for farmers.
Compatibility. Zeolite can be used alongside other materials, such as gravel or matting to create a customized solution that suits specific farm requirements. At StockRock we have worked with farmers across diverse landscapes in the North Island and we know what works and what doesn't.
Get in touch to talk about options for StockRock Zeolite on your farm races. It’s a better long term investment, and the next time the barometer drops and a rainstorm looms on the horizon, you'll have one less thing to worry about.