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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Winchmore long-term fertiliser trial

The Winchmore Research Station fertiliser trials in the Canterbury Plains, funded by the Fertiliser Association, have provided valuable insights into fertiliser use for almost 70 years.

As the longest fertiliser trial under pasture in New Zealand, the site has been invaluable in helping us to understand the role of phosphate fertiliser on irrigated pastoral systems. The original fertiliser treatments at Winchmore included a control (nil application of phosphate fertiliser), superphosphate applied at 188 kg/ha/yr and superphosphate applied at 376 kg/ ha/yr. More than 30 years ago two additional treatments were included: 250 kg/ha/yr of superphosphate and application of an equivalent rate of phosphorus using reactive rock phosphate.

Winchmore has allowed us to monitor and document the effects of consistent and uniform use of phosphate fertiliser over decades. However, it has delivered far more. Many issues faced by farming were not envisaged when the trial was initiated, such as soil carbon sequestration, impacts on earthworms and soil biota, accumulation of contaminants are a few examples where this long-term trial has provided invaluable information above and beyond the pasture responses to phosphate fertiliser. A significant change was introduced in the 2017/18 year, as the site's irrigation system has moved from a border dyke to a centre pivot system, to reflect the latest technology and comply with best practice and regulatory obligations under resource management.

The consistent management, meticulous record keeping and archiving of regular soil and plant samples have proved a rich source of material for many other studies.

Research findings have also been used to develop and validate several nutrient management models, such as Overseer.

The Fertiliser Association has been funding the annual maintenance and data collection at Winchmore Research Station for many years. In July 2018, we renewed our commitment to the Winchmore Fertiliser Trials. To protect them for the future, we have agreed to lease the trial site with AgResearch for the next 30 years. We want to ensure that Winchmore can continue to act as a testing ground for researchers for many generations to come.

Read more about the Winchmore Fertiliser Trials in a 2012 Special Edition of New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research.

Winchmore long-term fertiliser trial: 2020-2021 annual update

Winchmore long-term fertiliser trial: 2019-2020 annual update

Winchmore long-term fertiliser trial: 2018-19 annual update

Winchmore long-term fertiliser trial: 2017-18 annual update

2017 Report: Analysis of samples from the Winchmore long-term fertiliser trial for total soil cadmium contents

2017 Report: Fluorine accumulation and loss from a pasture soil

Spatial distribution of soil fertility at Winchmore Research Station


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.

Find out more

25 January 2022

Final-year Lincoln University PhD candidate Kirstin Deuss is the 2021 recipient of the NZ Society of Soil Science/Fertiliser Association of NZ Postgraduate Bursary Award.

The award recognises the efforts and present (or likely) contribution to New Zealand soil science arising from a doctorate study. It carries a $5,000 one-year stipend.

Kirstin holds a BSC in Biomedical Science from Victoria University of Wellington and an MSC in Horticultural Science from the Technical University of Munich, Free University of Bozen (Italy) and the University of Bologna.

Her postgraduate research has seen her lead a long-term field study on soil and catchment hydrology in Southland. The findings will help understand the role mole and tile drains play in Southland’s unique landscape.

“I’m thrilled to have been selected as the recipient of the NZSSS Fertiliser Association Postgraduate Bursary, it is an honour that I will cherish for the rest of my career,” says Kirstin. “I love working with soils and my career objective is to apply my field, research and management skills towards supporting the sustainable management of New Zealand’s soil resources.”

“My PhD has been challenging but also so rewarding, and this award is a real confidence boost as I prepare to start my new career at Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research in February. I wouldn't be where I am without the support of my many great mentors, friends and colleagues, who have given me so much of their time and energy to help turn ideas into reality and put it all into the written word!

 “It's truly been the best experience of my life and I am really looking forward to where it is going to take me.”

 Kirstin was nominated by Peter Almond, Associate Professor, Department of Soil and Physical Sciences at Lincoln University. He described her to the judging panel as a “highly adept scientist capable of complex quantitative analysis of soil-hydrological systems”.

“I think she is a deserving recipient.  The prestige of the award would further her goal of securing a position working professionally in soil science in New Zealand so that she can contribute to environmental sustainability of our primary industries.”

Fertiliser Association chief executive Vera Power described Kirstin’s research as “hugely important”.

“The more we can understand what’s happening in our soils and catchments, the better placed our primary sector will be to improve farm management, all while protecting the environment.”  

24 November 2021

FANZ has made a submission to the Ministry for the Environment on Te hau mārohi ki anamata - Transitioning to a low-emissions and climate-resilient future

The primary sector has a key role to play in helping achieve global reductions in greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining food security. This requires low-emission production systems, with increased efficiencies and the use of new mitigation technologies. 

Investment in the development and adoption of new technologies requires a clear regulatory pathway to market. We will need to work internationally with trading nations and also locally with existing qualified networks within the agricultural community for the extension and adoption of new mitigations.  

You can read our submission in full here.


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