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Lead science provider appointed for Overseer

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

The OVERSEERĀ® Nutrient Budgets Model today entered a new phase of development, with the appointment of a lead science provider and the start of a significant enhancement programme.

The model is a decision making tool that allows farmers, growers and their advisers to examine nutrient use and flows within a farm to optimise efficiency of use and reduce environmental impacts.

Owners the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF), AgResearch and Fert Research have completed the Government tender process and appointed a lead science provider for the four-year, $4 million programme to develop Overseer.

A proposal submitted by AgResearch and supported by partners Massey University and IT company Rezare Limited was the successful bid.

The Overseer owners will now begin implementation of their 10-year strategic plan which includes the goals of improving the performance of the model, improving its accessibility and usability, and adding new features.

MAF and Fert Research will each contribute $500,000 per year for four years, for the ongoing development and maintenance of the model.

Fert Research Technical Director Dr Hilton Furness, says the successful proposal offered an effective mix of strategic planning and pragmatic programme management.

"Development of the Overseer model is an example of true collaboration between industry, Government, and research and development providers which has resulted in a practical tool for farmers that can make a big difference to their profitability and environmental impact," says Dr Furness.

Overseer is widely used by farm advisors, fertiliser consultants and farmers and is available free of charge. It is applicable for dairy, sheep, beef and deer farms and many arable and horticultural crops.

Overseer is jointly-owned by MAF, AgResearch and Fert Research and is based on decades of the very best available scientific research and field trials. Regular enhancements ensure Overseer keeps pace with new scientific research and changing farm practices here in New Zealand.

Download Overseer free of charge http://www.agresearch.co.nz/overseerweb/.

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