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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30 September 2021

We recently submitted evidence to the Environment Select Committee on proposals to ban nitrogen fertiliser.

11 August 2021

Creating tools to assist farmers to make the right choice on nutrient management is a long and sometimes expensive process. The Fertiliser Association is committed to a journey of enabling New Zealand farmers to meet their goals for profitability and heightened environmental responsibility.

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