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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Farm Level Cost of a Carbon Tax on Nitrogen Fertiliser

Phil Journeaux, AgFirst
Completed May 2020

Introduction

The purpose of this analysis is to calculate the amount of carbon tax payable on nitrogen fertiliser at the farm level, if included in the proposed ETS.

It considers farm level nitrogen fertiliser use and for pastoral farming the cost of alternative products (which are 2 to 3 times more expensive).

The key question is whether the carbon tax would reduce the amount of nitrogen fertiliser used and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from nitrogen fertiliser. However, what this report concludes is that this is unlikely for most farms simply based on cost. It is argued that the ability of this carbon cost to influence behaviour depends on the visibility of the costs. If the Point of Obligation is at the processor/supplier level, then the cost of the tax will be very largely hidden from the farmer, which will significantly diminish any likely behaviour change.

Ensuring the cost is directly visible to farmers provides the greatest incentive to change.

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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.

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1 March 2024

The Fertiliser Association of New Zealand recently updated its Fertiliser Use on New Zealand Dairy Farms booklet to ensure farmers get the best value from fertiliser applied and to align the advice with the Code of Practice for Fertiliser Nutrient Management.

28 June 2023

Dairy farmers milking cows on a farm area of more than 20 hectares are required to record synthetic nitrogen use on their dairy platform land, including a zero-kg record if no synthetic nitrogen is used. The regulations require data to be submitted by 31 July each year for the preceding year ended 30 June. 

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