What is the history of fertiliser use in NZ?
Imported fertiliser use started with bird guano, in the 1860s. Superphosphate was introduced in the 1880s and records of fertiliser use have been kept in New Zealand since 1885.
Fertiliser use has increased from less than 50,000 tonnes at that time to a peak of 3.3 million tonnes in 2005 as agriculture has expanded and intensified.
Recently fertiliser use has declined, with a drop in volume sales compared with previous years. This can be attributed in part to global economic circumstance, but also to the increased use of nutrient budgets and nutrient management planning.