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 grazed trial established in 1980 evaluated the effects of superphosphate fertiliser application on pasture growth on Easy (10°–20° slope) and Steep (30°–40° slope) land in the Waikato, North Island, New Zealand.
Continuous and rotational grazing showed no effects on pasture responses to fertiliser. Mean annual pasture dry matter (DM) production ranged from 11,275 to 14,155 kg DM ha−1 on Easy, and 6413 to 7480 kg DM ha−1 on Steep slopes through the range of 10–100 kg ha−1 yr−1 of phosphate (P) fertiliser rates. Initial fertiliser effects on Olsen P tests were in the 0–3 cm depth only, and in the 7–15 cm soil depth only in the 100 kg ha−1 yr−1 treatment by year 4. Near maximum (97%) annual production, derived from relative yield analysis, was obtained at 0–7 cm depth soil tests of 30 on Easy slopes and at 12 on Steep slopes.
Results from this trial are directly relevant to the variable fertiliser rate aerial application technology currently being developed.
The full report has been published in the New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research.