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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Supporting new scientists

Congratulations to Lincoln University PhD student Daniel Martin-Hendrie, who has completed his PhD research investigating phosphorus and sulphur availability in relation to soil acidity and aluminium toxicity across the South Island high country.

Daniel's research had a special focus on the impact these relationships have on legume growth and persistence. Not only applying lime to the soil surface, he also investigated the deep application of lime directly into subsoil for greater plant growth. During his studies, Daniel hit upon the ideal formula for identifying whether high country farmers are best to apply lime, fertiliser, herbicide or seed to improve nutrient availability and their farm productivity.

Daniels' PhD was funded by the Fertiliser Association in partnership with Callaghan Innovation R&D Grants. This support provided Daniel with close engagement with the industry through work grants and stipends for financial support, plus training in industry-specific professional development and post graduate courses.

"I am very grateful to have had industry support towards my study," said Daniel.

"The financial support was invaluable, as it helped cover expenses such as travel costs to attend and participate at conferences, and the publication of associated journal papers."

"It also enabled me to get strong commercial experience and engagement with field staff, the farming community, researchers and rural professionals," added Daniel.

"The Fertiliser Association is a long-term supporter of PhD projects on nutrient management issues," said Greg Sneath, Executive Director at the Fertiliser Association of New Zealand.

"The intention of partnering with Callaghan Innovation Student Grants is to encourage a well-rounded programme for development of academic and technical skills, as well as meaningful commercial experience to support and encourage new young scientists with the skills and capability to make a difference in the world."

"We want them to be able to lead the next generation with the best possible experience and training during their academic development."

You can read more about Daniel's research here.

Daniel is looking forward to starting a new job working for Agriculture Victoria at the Grains Innovation Park in Horsham, Victoria.

We asked Daniel a few questions about his new role, and his chosen career.

What will you be doing in your new role?

"I will be working across a range of studies on nutrient availability, soil acidity and salinity issue-particularly in subsoil-for wheat production.

"This work will involve investigating the deep application of various amendments to counter these subsoil issues using customised machinery for deep incorporation without the need for full cultivation."

"As well as the direct effects of applying these amendments, I will be also working on a precision ag aspect by using investigative mapping work to identify specific areas where these amendments are best applied across a paddock."

"This work relates to my work on soil acidity and aluminium toxicity in high country, given the climate limitations on production, and also to the use of novel machinery for deep application of amendments into subsoil."

Why did you choose this career path?

"I am excited by innovation and new ideas in the agriculture industry, and the constant drive to improve the way things are done on farm. Being in a research position gives me the chance to look deep into the value of new ideas, and be a part of introducing them to drive innovation and increase farm productivity, and sustainability."

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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