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.

Read more

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

7 September 2022

The 2022 AgriTechNZ Baseline of Digital Adoption in Primary Industries report was released in August.

Created as part of a study by AgriTechNZ and insights partner Research First, the report was co-designed with partners The Fertiliser Association of New Zealand, Zespri, The Foundation of Arable Research and DairyNZ. It was also supported by the Ministry for Primary Industries as part of the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures initiative (SFFF).

The 60-page report looks at digital adoption, including key drivers and barriers across the dairy, horticulture, arable and beef/sheep sectors.

You can download the report here.

6 July 2022

The British Society of Soil Science has published a research article in the Soil Use and Management Journal detailing the latest analysed data from the long-running Winchmore Fertiliser Trial in Canterbury.

The paper was written by Driss Touhami of the Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Lincoln University. Touhami is also a member of the AgrioBioSciences Program, Mohammed VI Polytechnic University in Ben Guerir, Morocco.

The paper, titled "Effects of long-term phosphorus fertilizer inputs and seasonal conditions on organic soil phosphorus cycling under grazed pasture", was co-authored by Leo Condron Richard McDowell and Ray Moss.  The report can be viewed here.

Read more about the long-running Winchmore trial on the FANZ website here.

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