Case Study

Dairy Farmers solve food wastage problem with composting barn

Dairy Farmers solve food wastage problem with composting barn

Ethical dairy farmers in Nelson Tasman install two composting barns to improve the health and wellbeing of their cows and reduce food wastage.

A Wholesale Landscapes customer since

Wholesale Landscapes product used

When they started using the product

A Wholesale Landscapes customer since


Wholesale Landscapes product used

First use of product



Raine Farms are proud ethical farmers, so when they found out the benefits of a composting barn with animal bedding they made the investment in their cows health and installed two to provide warmth and shelter during winter. Happy cows produce quality milk.

In addition to the animal bedding provided for the cows composting barn, they also use Wholesale Landscapes Woodmatt for calf rearing. This provides a warm layer for the young calves to rest while also draining and absorbing effluent to provide a clean environment, reducing the risk of disease.
Composting Barn and animal bedding

The Saxton/Raine family has owned and worked Oaklands milk since 1842 and in more recent times offer pasturised milk for sale from vending machines at the farm gate and stations around the Nelson region.

"We think that our milk is pretty special. We pamper our cows and let them graze the 500 hectares of soft rolling hills. We have rigorous hygiene and safety procedures, with continual checks and audits to ensure our milk meets Oaklands strict quality standards."

Recently, Raine Farms installed two composting barns to increase the health of the cows during winter and reduce food wastage.

Raine Farms found they were losing 30% of their feed out in the paddocks from the cows standing on it and it being spread and absorbed into the ground. They wanted to find a solution for 0% waste.
Our Assessment:

We were approached by Raine Farms who were in the initial stages with Smart Shelters the builders of their composting barn. After a discussion with them, we discovered they currently had ample amount of wood chip available to them which they intended to repurpose as the base layer of the barns but they were after a product to blend with this to provide ultimate comfort and absorbency for the cows.
Our Solution:

Wholesale Landscapes has a range of Animal bedding products to suit the different animal bedding needs within the agriculture industry.

As Raine Farms already had a source for the base layer we recommended a surface layer of Barnmatt which is a 50/50 blend of shavings and sawdust. The combination of their woodchip and our Barmatt would provide the required drainage and absorption while also giving the cows shelter and a warm layer to rest, especially as we come in to winter.
What is a Composting Barn?

Composting barns or “Mootels” are like no other type of barn. They are open structures that focus on cow comfort. In a composting barn, an aerobic system of ‘good bugs’ composts the effluent, keeping the bedding dry and your herd healthy.

They can be a great enhancement to animal welfare and there is minimal smell (very different to most barns). They can fit seamlessly into the dairy industry and in the process solve key environmental problems.
Raine farm composting barn 11
Raine farm composting barn 15
Raine farm composting barn after use lol
By installing two composting barns Raine farms were able to solve their food wastage issue. Instead of feeding the cows out in the paddocks which contributed to up to 30% of their waste, they now have a concrete pad down the sides of the composting barns that allows them to spread the feed out and without treading on the feed they are able to consume everything, reducing their waste down to 0%.

In addition to this they have provided a warm shelter and bed to escape the cold winter months which is essential to the cows health and well being. The cows spend their evenings in the composting barns and during the day are let out into the paddocks. During this time the animal bedding is turned daily to keep it fresh and to allow the composting process to take place. And once the bedding is taken out, it can be used as a nutrient-rich fertiliser.
“We are really impressed with the absorbency of the sawdust and shavings. It is exactly what we are after. Bloody good.” – Peter, Raine Farms
Composting barn
Animal bedding for calves
Composting barn

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Our Truck Volumes

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Full truck load volumes
  • Bark: 7m³
  • Compost: 4m³
  • Supersoil: 3m³
  • Soil: 3m³
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  • Stone: 1.5m³

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Full truck load volumes
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  • Compost: 10m³
  • Supersoil: 7m³
  • Shell: 8m³

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Full truck load + trailer volumes
  • Bark: 25m³ - 65m³
  • Compost: 17m³ - 38m³
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  • Shell: 12m³ - 30m³

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We welcome pick-up of product by the public for volumes 1m³ and over. Please check your estimated trailer weight rating below. If your trailer is unable to hold the weight of our minimum pick-up volume, please book a delivery. *We require a minimum order quantity of 3m³ for any bark, compost, soil or shell products and a minimum order quantity of 1.5m3 for any stones or aggregates.

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Recommended depths

Typically you need a finishing layer of screened soil of 100mm when working with an uneven surface. 100mm of soil will allow to even out any hollows and give enough depth to create a flat surface

A general rule for compost is to allow for the depth of the current root structure of your plants with an additional 30-50% to mix in with the base. If you’re planting into holes or filling up a vege garden  you will need to accommodate for this prior to filling up

We recommend 100mm (10cm) deep for new bark gardens and planting into bare areas. For existing gardens with some cover, we recommend 75mm-100mm (7.5cm-10cm)

Note: Barked areas for playground impact protection need to meet NZS5828:2015 standards and is calculated on the fall areas and the height of the playground. Please contact us to discuss your barked playground areas

For paths and driveways which are often exposed to car and foot traffic, we recommend 100mm-125mm (10cm-12.5cm) on newly prepared areas due to settling of product.

This excludes preparation, compaction or drainage gravel underneath. For existing areas 75mm thickness is recommended for areas needing a small top-up.