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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Wise use of N on hill country

A Sustainable Farming Fund Project
Completed 2012


The ‘Wise Use of Nitrogen Fertiliser on Hill Country Pastures’ (Wise N Use) field programme ran from August 2004 until March 2008. It aimed to demonstrate the best use of fertiliser nitrogen (N) under commercial conditions in a range of hill farming situations. The programme focused on enhancing long-term farm profitability, with minimal environmental impact.

There were two components to the project. One was the commercial applications and lessons learned on a series of monitor farms. The other involved detailed site-specific studies on research farms, run by AgResearch.

The focus farm component of the Wise Use of Nitrogen programme ran for three years, during which time local community groups designed, implemented, monitored and reported on 31 demonstrations on 16 commercial sheep and beef farms throughout New Zealand.

The research farm component of the Wise Use of Nitrogen Programme used paddock scale trials at Ballantrae and Invermay, to investigate the effect of various rates of N-fertiliser on pasture performance and some aspects of environmental performance.

This project was funded by Fert Research (now Fertiliser Association of New Zealand), MAF SFF (now MPI), Meat & Wool New Zealand (now Beef + Lamb New Zealand), Ravensdown Co-op Ltd, Ballance Agri-Nutrients Ltd and PGGRC.

Visit the WiseNUse website to learn more about the project.

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  • Nitrogen use on hill country: Lessons from the national Wise Use of Nitrogen focus farm project

M. G. Lambert, A. H. C. Roberts, J. D. Morton

This paper was presented at the Massey University, Palmerston North, Fertilizer & Lime Research Centre’s 25th annual workshop: Advanced Nutrient Management: Gains from the Past -Goals for the Future (Eds L.D. Currie and C.L. Christensen. Occasional Report No. 25).

Download report

  • 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

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

Download report

  • Poster papers, specific to each monitor farm experience, were presented at the 2007 ‘Wise N Use’ Conference.

Download poster papers

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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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.’

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.

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