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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The Resource Management Act

The Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) was introduced “to promote the sustainable management of natural and physical resources.” It requires every person to recognise their duty to avoid, remedy, or mitigate any adverse effect on the environment that could arise from their activity. The Act focuses on the effects of activities rather than the activities themselves and does not itself provide any mechanisms for measuring or assessing sustainability.

The RMA is given effect through regional and district plans – e.g. regional air quality plans, water quality plans and land (soil) management plans. In particular, Regional Councils have responsibility for controlling discharges to land, water, and air. This has implications for fertiliser handling and use, as well as overall loss of nutrients from land use activities.

Nutrient management activities often include fertiliser use and the disposal of animal waste products. It is important to realise that nutrient management activities that are classed as ‘permitted activities’ (i.e. that can be practiced without resource consent so long as management complies with certain conditions) in one region may have different conditions imposed or even require resource consent in another. It is up to each landowner or manager to make sure they know their regional plan requirements and meet these.

Some Regional Council rules many list fertiliser use applied in accordance with this Code as a permitted activity, but they may also list other permitted activity conditions that the land owner or manager will need to be aware of.

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

8 October 2018

New Zealand's agricultural industry is increasingly considering the challenges and opportunities of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.


5 September 2018

From having an internationally acclaimed research method named after him to running a highly successful research centre, Professor Mike Hedley can look back on his 40-year academic career with a huge sense of achievement.

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