Feeding the world’s growing population

New Zealand’s reputation as a quality food producer is growing.

Optimising food production

Over the next 50 years farmers around the world will need to produce more food than has been grown over the past 10,000 years.

Best use from a limited resource

Fertiliser helps farmers produce food efficiently by replenishing the soil. But fertiliser needs to be used responsibly.

Responsible and sustainable nutrient management

The Fertiliser Association invests in research and tools to ensure farm profitability while minimising nutrient losses to the environment.

The Fertiliser Association of New Zealand promotes and encourages responsible and scientifically-based nutrient management.

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Updated: Tiered Fertiliser Management System (TFMS)

You can now find a revised version of the TFMS under the 'Tools' section of our website.

The TFMS is a system for controlling the choice and rate of phosphate fertiliser application depending on the soil cadmium concentration. The tiers represent soil cadmium levels ranging from natural background levels up to a maximum threshold. Above the threshold there should be no further accumulation of cadmium unless there is a detailed site-specific investigation to identify risks and pathways for potential harm.

The objective of the TFMS is that soil cadmium accumulation rates are managed so that soil cadmium remains below the upper limit (of 1.8 mg Cd/kg soil) over at least the next 100 years. It achieves this by managing rates of soil accumulation, which are reduced as soil cadmium increases. Regardless of soil cadmium level, plant uptake should be managed appropriately to limit plant and animal cadmium levels to recognised standards.

This TFMS is an integral part of the Cadmium Management Strategy. It was revised in 2019 following a review of the Cadmium Management Strategy.

View the TFMS


The Fertiliser Association of New Zealand and Dairy NZ funded development of the Nutrient Management Adviser Certification Programme (NMACP). This industry-wide certification aims to ensure that advisers have the learning, experience and capability to give sound nutrient advice.

Find out more

29 July 2020

The Cadmium Management Group has produced a series of resources to provide growers and farmers with advice about managing cadmium in New Zealand.

25 June 2020

Congratulations to Massey University PhD student, Gere Thangavelautham, who has completed his PhD research investigating the 'Impact of phosphate fertiliser derived fluorine on soil microbiology and white clover'.

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