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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Manufactured nitrogen fertiliser use falls by 8%

Fertiliser co-operatives are determined to assist their farmer owners with reducing their environmental impact.

The New Zealand fertiliser co-operatives work hard with their shareholders to enable them to use the wide range of tools available to manage their environmental footprint.

"In the past year, there has been a reduction of 8% in the use of manufactured nitrogen fertilisers (MNF)," said Dr Vera Power, Chief Executive of the Fertiliser Association of New Zealand.

"Because the fertiliser co-operatives are owned by the people who use the product they supply, they do not 'push' anything on to farmers - farmers make informed decisions about how they farm."

Many farming decisions will affect the amount of nitrogen used. For example, pay-outs, input costs, climate and soil conditions, stocking rates, pasture management.

The co-operatives have already helped many of their farmer shareholder to adjust to the new nitrogen limit of 190kg/ha, and the effect is felt very differently in some parts of the country compared to others.

"There is no one size fits all, and no single way to farm," added Dr Power.

It is clear that farm management is getting increasingly smarter and is able to produce food with less inputs. Analysis using nutrient budgeting tool Overseer, suggests that over the last 10 years in Canterbury, the shift to best practice has resulted in nitrogen loss being decreased by a third.

In Canterbury, farms are already operating within some of the strictest limits in the country. As a result, Environment Canterbury has commented that improvements are starting to be seen in some rivers, but they acknowledge that improvements in groundwater will take longer.


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

5 July 2021

Fertiliser co-operatives are determined to assist their farmer owners with reducing their environmental impact.

9 June 2021

From 1 July 2021, the Government's new regulations for the application of nitrogen fertiliser to pastoral land, will come into effect. Here's what you need to know.

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