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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Nitrogen fertiliser application rates and nitrogen leaching in intensively managed sheep grazed hill country pastures in New Zealand

C. J. Hoogendoorn, M.G. Lambert, B. P. Davantier, P. W. Theobald, Z. A. Park
Completed 2017


Effects of rates of nitrogen (N) fertiliser application on mineral N leaching from grazed New Zealand hill country were investigated. Paddocks of 12–25° slope received annual N inputs of 0, 100, 200, 300, 400, 500 or 750 kg N ha−1 and were rotationally grazed by non-lactating ewes, stocking rate being increased to utilise extra pasture production generated from N application. Mineral N leaching was measured using in situ minilysimeters (150 mm diameter and 300 mm depth) with leachate collected at monthly intervals or after each accumulation of 100 mm rain. Average annual net herbage accumulation ranged from 11 to 16 t dry matter ha−1 for the N treatments. Total mineral N leaching increased linearly with fertiliser N application rate. Potential increases in N leaching for commonly used fertiliser N regimes were estimated to be 11% (for 20 kg N ha−1) to 29% (for 50 kg N ha−1 application rate).

This research was undertaken as a component of the Wise Use of N on Hill Country project.

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The report was published in the New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Science, Vol 60, 2017 – Issue 2.

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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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