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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N-cap data required to be submitted by end of July 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-kilogram record if no synthetic nitrogen is used. The regulations require data to be submitted by 31 July of each year for the preceding year ended 30 June.

Regional and unitary councils have been working with Ravensdown and Ballance to deliver a consistent method for storing and reporting the synthetic nitrogen fertiliser data in line with the National Environmental Standards for Freshwater 2020.

There are three tools available to help farmers report. It is a farmer’s choice which tool they use to help them comply with the Regulations.

The three tools that farmers can choose from to submit records of synthetic nitrogen use are: 

 In the first year of recording the data have revealed the following information:

  • 40 percent of farmers provided data – about one third through each of the three tools.
  • Nationally about 2 percent of those farmers who reported were exceeding the cap.  Follow-ups showed that often the exceedance related to reporting errors and councils are working with some farmers to better plan synthetic nitrogen use. 
What is new for N-Cap 2023?

Based on feedback from farmers and councils the tools have been enhanced for 2023. The changes for 2023 include:

  • Farm locations will be recorded to ensure that a match of which farms have submitted data can be paired to Council property and compliance data.
    • The location will be an x,y coordinate which can be used to link to a GIS system (NZ Transverse Mercator projection).
    • The NZBN and dairy supply number will still be required.
  • For farmers using the web portal a summary of records will be shown on screen for checking and editing prior to submission. Submission will finalise the record. An email confirming that the data has been submitted will be sent.


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

12 June 2024

FANZ places great value on developing New Zealand’s agricultural research capability. One way we do this is through supporting PhD students. Among the students we are currently supporting is Kaitlin Watson, a Lincoln University student whose PhD looks at phosphorus and nitrogen cycling in dryland pastures under conventional and regenerative agriculture management.

27 March 2024

FANZ is dedicated to funding research and developing New Zealand’s agricultural research capability by supporting PhD research such as the work of Massey University student Nicola Wilson who is undertaking research on ‘What Hot Water Extractable Carbon and Nitrogen can tell us about changes in labile soil Carbon and Nitrogen.’

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