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.
Phil Journeaux, AgFirst
Completed June 2020
In May 2020, the government announced its decisions to introduce new rules and regulations for freshwater management under the Action for Healthy Waterways package. One of the proposed regulations is to cap synthetic nitrogen fertiliser application on pastoral land-use at 190kg N/ha/yr.
This report was commissioned to provide an initial assessment of the potential impact of this new cap on nitrogen fertiliser use on pastoral farms. The report suggests that 32% of dairy farms which apply nitrogen fertiliser could be impacted by the cap, many of these in Canterbury.
Modelling for Canterbury irrigated dairy farms suggests a 13.9% reduction in earnings (before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization - EBITDA). This reduction in earnings will be associated with a 6.6% reduction in nitrogen leaching.
We expect that many of these farms will already have strict requirements on nitrogen use set by the Regional Council to control nitrogen losses from the farm system. In fact, industry guidelines have always recommended caution on farms that apply more than 200 kg N/ha.