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October 2012


The primary industries sector has established a national standard for the training, certification and continuing professional development of farm nutrient management advisers.

Sixteen (16) primary sector organisations have committed to the Nutrient Management Adviser Certification Programme. DairyNZ commissioned the Fertiliser Association of New Zealand to develop the certification programme as part of its Primary Growth Partnership, funded by the Ministry for Primary Industries.

The certification programme is run by an industry advisory group which sets standards, manages certification and continuing professional development and operates a registration system.

Russ Tillman, Chair of the Advisory Group, anticipates that within two years, half of all nutrient management advisers will be certified.

“The programme will ensure New Zealand nutrient management advisory standards are maintained to the highest level internationally. It will give confidence and credibility to the increasingly important role of managing nutrient cycling and nutrient loss within environmental limits on farms.

“The importance of this programme to improve the production value farmers will extract from the investment they make in nutrients and reducing the impact nutrient loss has on the environment shouldn’t be underestimated.”

He says the programme will ensure advice is conveyed to farmers in a consistent way through advisers who are working to the same agreed standards across the country.

“It will also give assurance to central and regional government regulators, local and international markets and the public at large that the primary sector is managing its nutrient footprint consistently nationwide.”

At the core of our programme is work undertaken by the fertiliser industry to train its fertiliser representatives through postgraduate courses in sustainable nutrient management, taught at Massey University.

The certification framework will be extended to all in the primary sector who provide nutrient management advice to farmers, or who are involved in the broader field of farm management.

The website for the programme will be available soon at


About Certified Nutrient Management Advisers

A certified nutrient management adviser will have completed specialised training in nutrient management and on the job or external training in the Overseer nutrient management planning tool.

They will have an expert understanding of the following areas:

· Overseer’s practical use covering production and environmental considerations for land management

· Nutrient budgets and audits and planning

· The Code of Practice for Nutrient Management

· Fertiliser products

· Quality control and storage

· Soil science

· Environmental perspectives on water quality issues and contaminants

· Pasture and cropping management

· Farming practices and economics

· Greenhouse gas emissions and emission trading schemes.

To retain certification, advisers will need to undertake continuing professional development on an annual basis, and pay an annual registration fee.

Further information

Russ Tillman, Chair, Nutrient Management Adviser Certification Advisory Group. Email: c/o

Philip Mladenov, Chief Executive, Fertiliser Association of New Zealand – the organisation under which this programme sits. Email: or phone 04 473 6552

Mike Scarsbrook, Environment Policy Manager, DairyNZ. Email:

Organisations involved in the Nutrient Management Adviser Certification Programme are:

Lead developer and funder: DairyNZ

Contracted deliverer: Fertiliser Association of New Zealand

AgResearch Foundation for Arable Research

Agri One Ltd Horticulture New Zealand

Ballance Agri-nutrients Lincoln University

Beef + Lamb New Zealand Massey University – Institute of Natural Resources

Deer Industry New Zealand New Zealand Institute of Primary Industry Management (NZIPIM)

Federated Farmers Ravensdown Fertiliser Co-operative

Fish & Game New Zealand Regional councils

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