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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What is a 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. 

The NMP applies only to that area of the property which is under the direct management oversight of the property manager. The nutrient management plan aims to optimise production and maximise profit value from nutrient inputs while avoiding or minimising adverse effects on the environment.

A good NMP:

  • ensures that nutrient management meets all legal and industry requirements,
  • includes a nutrient budget which compares nutrient inputs from all sources with all nutrient outputs,
  • achieves desired changes in nutrient levels and production (e.g. increasing soil fertility from a poor base to support a higher stock carrying capacity; altering soil nutrient status to suit future crops),
  • minimises the cost of supplying nutrients and avoids wasted spending on unnecessary or unused nutrients,
  • minimises the risk of damage to the environment, and
  • considers the land manager’s personal objectives.

The sample NMP template is provided in Appendix 4 of this document. This template which adheres to the objectives as outlined in the Code illustrates one type of plan that land managers can use or adapt to suit their circumstances.

Use of this particular template is not essential under the Code but users of alternative NMP templates must be able to demonstrate that their plan includes the following:

and must outline:

  • the management practices adopted to avoid or reduce the environmental risks associated with the nutrient management activities undertaken on the property.

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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