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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Fertiliser Application

The fertiliser spreading industries (ground and aerial spreaders) have their own Codes of Practice. 

The process of spreading fertiliser on a property is a critical part of managing fertiliser use. The objective should be to achieve evenness of spread at the required rate in order to maximise economic return from the investment while ensuring minimal environmental impact. Spreading should be even within an LMU, but differential rates are expected between LMU’s.

The key factors that will influence this objective are:

  • the environmental understanding of the person doing the spreading
  • the skill and competency of the spreader
  • the suitability of the machinery being used (i.e. to spread fertiliser accurately)

Spreading fertiliser to maximise returns and avoid adverse impacts is a technically demanding task. While some land managers spread some or all of their fertiliser themselves, spreading by Spreadmark accredited spreading companies is recommended.

The person spreading fertiliser has four main objectives:

  • to spread the fertiliser at the desired rate and as evenly as possible over the target area
  • to avoid any fertiliser directly entering surface water
  • to control wind drift to avoid any fertiliser indirectly entering or landing on surface water, or going outside the boundaries of the target zone
  • to ensure that the work is undertaken safely

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

25 November 2020

Two PhD students who have been supported by the Association, have published information on their research. The first measures the impact of phosphate fertiliser derived fluorine on soil microbiology and white clover. The second analyses the effect of soil cadmium on root organic acid secretion by forage crops.


18 November 2020

The Fertiliser Association is delighted to be providing funding for two new agriculture short courses at Massey University. These courses have been created to fill demand for agriculture experts as a result of the government's mandate on freshwater plans.

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