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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Applicator A user with specific responsibility for application of fertiliser.
Accredited nutrient advisor A person who, by recognised accepted qualification (such as both of Massey University's Certificates in Sustainable Nutrient Management) or experience, is held accountable by their peers to be suitable to provide nutrient management advice that is consistent with this Code of Practice.
Best management practice Application of the best available demonstrated control, technology, processes, measures and operating methods that are socially, economically, and technically feasible for minimising or avoiding contamination from non-point sources.
Capital application A fertiliser input additional to maintenance requirements which aims to raise soil nutrient status as measured by soil testing.
Carrier A person/item that provides services for moving items from one place to another.
Certification Authorisation that the item, practice or service is what it is stated to be.
Coefficient of variation (CV) The deviation of the item from a reference value. A statistical measurement which is expressed as a percentage of the reference value.
Consequence The result of an action. In nutrient management planning, the environmental consequences of nutrient management activities are particularly relevant.
Consultant A person who operates in the field of providing advice generally on a fee paid basis.
Contaminant Includes any substance (including gases, liquids, solids and micro-organisms) or energy (excluding noise) or heat, that either by itself or in combination with the same, similar, or other substances, energy, or heat - (a) when discharged into water, changes or is likely to change the physical, chemical or biological condition of water; or (b) when discharged onto or into land or into air, changes or is likely to change the physical, chemical, or biological condition of the land or air onto or into which it is discharged (s2 RMA).
District Plan An operative plan approved by a territorial authority under the first schedule (to the RMA) and includes all operative changes to such a plan (whether arising from a review or otherwise).
Fact Sheet A paper which summarises key information relevant to a specific topic and which indicates where further information may be found.
Fertiliser Any substance (whether solid or fluid in form) which is described as or held out to be for, or suitable for, sustaining or increasing the growth, productivity, or quality of plants or animals through the application of essential nutrients to plants or soils.
Fertiliser blend A product obtained by dry mixing of relatively homogeneous fertiliser materials.
Fertiliser user A person who takes delivery of fertiliser materials for the purposes of applying them to the land.
Fine particle application A term commonly used to describe application of a suspension fertiliser.
Foliar analysis A direct measurement of the level of nutrients contained within the plant tissue at the time of sampling.
GIS (Geographical Information System) Computer system for mapping and displaying geographical information.
GPS (Global Positioning System) Satellite and associated ground station system that allows a user to accurately determine their location (longitude, latitude and altitude) in any weather, day or night, anywhere on earth.
Groundwater Any subsurface body of natural water.
Indicator A parameter or value derived from data, which points to, provides information about, or describes the state of a phenomenon/environment/area, with a significance extending beyond that directly associated with a parameter value.
Inherent risk Background risk due to a particular combination of natural characteristics. Inherent risk does not consider best management practices applied to reduce any potential adverse impacts of the activity.
Iterative A repeated process of re-evaluation to achieve best results.
Land manager Farmer, grower, viticulturalist, forester - anyone managing a growing system which requires nutrient management
Land management unit An area of land that can be farmed or managed in a similar way, due to the soil type, capabilities and function, and strategic importance to the farming system.
Likelihood The probability of an event occurring. In nutrient management planning, the likelihood of adverse environmental effects arising from nutrient management activities is particularly relevant.
Maintenance application A fertiliser input that maintains the balance between input and output of nutrients as measured by soil nutrient status from a soil test.
Nitrification-inhibitor A product which slows the first stage of nitrification in the soil and reduces the rate at which ammonium is converted into nitrate, thus reducing the potential for N leaching losses and nitrous oxide gas emissions.
Nutrients Essential elements required for normal growth and development of plants and/or animals.
Nutrient audit The process of examining and assessing a nutrient budget.
Nutrient management activities Activities associated with the design and implementation of a nutrient management plan.
Nutrient budget Statement of the total nutrient balance for a specific area or production system, taking into account all the nutrient inputs and all the outputs.
Nutrient management plan A nutrient management plan (NMP) is a written plan that describes how the major plant nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, sulphur and potassium, and any others of importance to specialist crops) will be managed annually on a particular area or property. This plan will be implemented to optimise productivity, to reduce nutrient losses and to avoid, remedy or mitigate adverse effects on the environment. Click here for the Nutrient Management Planning Process.
Organic fertiliser Carbonaceous materials mainly of vegetable and/or animal origin added to the soil specifically for the nutrition of plants and which contain nutrients as per the definition of a fertiliser.
Point of sale The place where the ownership of an item moves from one person to another.
Regional plan A Regional Council document produced under the RMA on behalf of the local community, which sets out objectives, policies, and methods, (including rules), for the sustainable management of natural and physical resources.
Regional policy statement A policy framework prepared by a Regional Council under the first schedule to the RMA.
Soil sample For pasture, typically a set of 15 or more soil cores of 7.5cm depth which are bulked for analysis as a sample. For crops/horticulture, depth of sample taken varies as can minimum number of cores.
Soil test A procedure to estimate the nutrient status of the soil at the time of sampling.
Segregation The separation of physical materials. The tendency of a uniform mixture containing a range of different particle sizes or densities to separate into classes.
Soil quality A qualitative term referring to the physical, chemical and biological attributes of a soil.
Standards Technical specifications representing a reliable and consistent guideline, rule or definition.
Surface water Any above-ground body of water including streams, rivers, wetlands, ponds, drains, dams and harbours.
Sustainable management Managing the use, development, and protection of natural and physical resources in a way, or at a rate, which enables people and communities to provide for their social, economic, and cultural well being and for their health and safety while:
  1. sustaining the potential of natural and physical resources (excluding minerals) to meet the reasonably foreseeable needs of future generations; and
  2. safeguarding the life-supporting capacity of air, water, soil, and ecosystems; and
  3. avoiding, remedying, or mitigating any adverse effects of activities on the environment (s5 (2) RMA).
Urease inhibitor Products which slow the conversion of urea to ammonium while the nitrogen fertiliser is on the soil surface, thus reducing the potential for N loss as ammonia gas.

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 January 2022

Final-year Lincoln University PhD candidate Kirstin Deuss is the 2021 recipient of the NZ Society of Soil Science/Fertiliser Association of NZ Postgraduate Bursary Award.

The award recognises the efforts and present (or likely) contribution to New Zealand soil science arising from a doctorate study. It carries a $5,000 one-year stipend.

Kirstin holds a BSC in Biomedical Science from Victoria University of Wellington and an MSC in Horticultural Science from the Technical University of Munich, Free University of Bozen (Italy) and the University of Bologna.

Her postgraduate research has seen her lead a long-term field study on soil and catchment hydrology in Southland. The findings will help understand the role mole and tile drains play in Southland’s unique landscape.

“I’m thrilled to have been selected as the recipient of the NZSSS Fertiliser Association Postgraduate Bursary, it is an honour that I will cherish for the rest of my career,” says Kirstin. “I love working with soils and my career objective is to apply my field, research and management skills towards supporting the sustainable management of New Zealand’s soil resources.”

“My PhD has been challenging but also so rewarding, and this award is a real confidence boost as I prepare to start my new career at Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research in February. I wouldn't be where I am without the support of my many great mentors, friends and colleagues, who have given me so much of their time and energy to help turn ideas into reality and put it all into the written word!

 “It's truly been the best experience of my life and I am really looking forward to where it is going to take me.”

 Kirstin was nominated by Peter Almond, Associate Professor, Department of Soil and Physical Sciences at Lincoln University. He described her to the judging panel as a “highly adept scientist capable of complex quantitative analysis of soil-hydrological systems”.

“I think she is a deserving recipient.  The prestige of the award would further her goal of securing a position working professionally in soil science in New Zealand so that she can contribute to environmental sustainability of our primary industries.”

Fertiliser Association chief executive Vera Power described Kirstin’s research as “hugely important”.

“The more we can understand what’s happening in our soils and catchments, the better placed our primary sector will be to improve farm management, all while protecting the environment.”  

24 November 2021

FANZ has made a submission to the Ministry for the Environment on Te hau mārohi ki anamata - Transitioning to a low-emissions and climate-resilient future

The primary sector has a key role to play in helping achieve global reductions in greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining food security. This requires low-emission production systems, with increased efficiencies and the use of new mitigation technologies. 

Investment in the development and adoption of new technologies requires a clear regulatory pathway to market. We will need to work internationally with trading nations and also locally with existing qualified networks within the agricultural community for the extension and adoption of new mitigations.  

You can read our submission in full here.

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