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.
A review on fertiliser impacts on soil biology highlights the paucity of long-term trials, however, the data available indicates the application of phosphorus and nitrogen fertiliser has an effect on soil biology. Indications are higher earthworm abundance associated with increasing phosphorus, but not nitrogen fertiliser application. Microbial biomass also tended to increase with phosphorus application but decrease with nitrogen application. Both phosphorus and nitrogen fertilisers decreased fungal biomass. The few microbial functional groups studied also appear responsive to fertilisation. Some of the factors contributing to soil biology responses, such as soil pH and plant composition are considered, along with possible indicators for on-farm assessment of soil biology.