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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Step 1: Set objectives for nutrient management

The NMP must include all of the Code specific objectives as listed below. It may also include additional property objectives. The objectives are the things the land manager wants to achieve, against which they will compare the final results of their nutrient management.

Code specific objectives

‘Code specific’ objectives apply to all users of this Code and primarily cover environmental management. Other aspects of this Code link these to production goals. These objectives should be used when following this Code. Not all of the objectives will apply to every property but all should be considered and adopted where they do. For example, all properties will have to meet objectives 1 and 2 but some will find that objective 5 is not relevant because the land does not have any significant (extensive, native) vegetation areas or wildlife habitat. Where a Code specific objective is not applied in the NMP, you should explain the reason for that decision.

The Code specific objectives

  1. To comply with all legal requirements related to nutrient management activities.
    These include all national and regional legal requirements plus industry standards and requirements.

  2. To take all practicable steps to maintain or enhance the quality of the property’s water resources.
    This will be achieved by adopting management practices that minimise the risks of groundwater and/or surface water contamination.

  3. To take all practicable steps to ensure that there is an adequate supply of soil nutrients to meet plant needs.
    Most land managers expect to optimise soil nutrient levels (this would be determined in consultation with the fertiliser company representative or farm consultant). This may require an increase or decrease in nutrient inputs.

  4. To take all practicable steps to contain nutrients within the property boundaries.
    Best management practices must be adopted where there is any risk of nutrients applied on the property causing damage or nuisance beyond the boundary.

  5. To take all practicable steps to minimise the risk of nutrient contamination of any areas of significant vegetation and/or wildlife habitat.
    Nutrient management activities must not degrade any areas identified in district or regional plans as ‘outstanding’ or ‘significant’ vegetation or wildlife habitat. Best management practices must be planned to minimise the risk of nutrient contamination to these areas.

Property management objectives

‘Property management objectives’ are part of a nutrient management plan. These typically have a production focus (e.g. “To grow an average of 15,000 kg DM/ha/year on irrigated pasture areas” or “To achieve Olsen P of minimum 25 in all tested paddocks”) but may also include environmental perspectives (e.g. “To enhance Pukeko habitat along Wandery creek”), and social perspectives (e.g. “To take at least one month’s holiday each year”).

Appropriate fertiliser applications will depend on what the land manager is trying to achieve on the property. It is important to know what levels of performance are required before making fertiliser decisions. Is the manager attempting to hold or increase production? Will pasture or crops change in future? If so, do nutrient levels need to be altered over time to suit? The answers to these questions will help set the property management objectives.

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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