Feeding the world’s growing population
New Zealand’s reputation as a quality food producer is growing.
The Fertiliser Association of New Zealand promotes and encourages responsible and scientifically-based nutrient management.
FANZ commissioned a study to update the estimates of the average carbon footprint of a range of fertilisers used in New Zealand by Ballance Agri-Nutrients and Ravensdown. This was based on local production and importation data for 2018/19. Results are compared with estimates from a previous carbon footprint study of New Zealand fertilisers in 2010.
The report was written by Dr Stewart Ledgard. Stewart is a Principal Scientist with AgResearch and also an Adjunct Professor of the Life Cycle Management Centre at Massey University in New Zealand. His research focus is the management of resource use and environmental impacts of pastoral farming systems. During the past decade this has involved application of Life Cycle Assessment across a range of New Zealand agricultural systems and products.
Life cycle assessment methodology was used to account for all sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in calculation of the carbon footprint of fertilisers, including that for transportation to a New Zealand port.
The report provides the New Zealand fertiliser industry with information on the GHG emissions associated with the production and use of fertilisers on New Zealand farms. It also determines the contribution of fertilisers to the total GHG emissions from New Zealand dairy, sheep and beef production.
"Use of data from this project will enable the fertiliser industry to examine the 'hot-spots' in GHG emissions throughout the life cycle in the production and use of fertilisers in the primary sector," said Dr Ledgard.
"It's very positive to see that the results have shown a decrease between 2010 and 2018/19 in the average carbon footprint of most fertilisers used by these companies, due to greater efficiencies across production and transportation and changes in the source of raw materials," said Vera Power, Chief Executive of the Fertiliser Association.
"For urea fertiliser and superphosphate these represent an 8% reduction and 28% reduction respectively."