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.
Cadmium has very gradually accumulated in New Zealand agricultural systems, predominantly from the application of phosphorus fertiliser to soils. This paper summarises published and unpublished research that has been undertaken over the last 30 years to better understand, improve, and manage the potential adverse effects of cadmium in agricultural soils. The wide-ranging research addressed factors such as cadmium uptake in plants and animals, bioavailability, the rate of inputs, transformation and losses from soils, the development of mass-balance models, as well as identifying and testing strategies and remediation options to manage gradual accumulation in agricultural systems. This research is then placed alongside the policy and regulatory context for managing cadmium in agricultural systems in New Zealand. Key knowledge gaps are presented, along with some potential research directions for the future.