29 April 2016
For immediate release
Water Accord demonstrates the importance of using qualified advisers
The release of the Sustainable Dairying: Water Accord this week highlights the important role of talented people in delivering improvements in the environmental performance of dairy farming.
The report notes that the training and certification of nutrient management advisers hit a major milestone in the 2014/15 year with a total of 100 rural professionals completing the requirements for and achieving certification in the Nutrient Management Adviser Certification Programme (NMACP). This was accomplished with the ongoing support and commitment of the Fertiliser Association of New Zealand and its member companies, Ballance Agri-Nutrients Ltd and Ravensdown Ltd. One of the Accord targets was that 50% of Fertiliser Association member company advisers would be certified by 31 May 2014, which was comfortably achieved.
Chief Executive of the Fertiliser Association, Philip Mladenov, commented that attracting, developing and retaining highly skilled and motivated nutrient advisers into the primary sector was a vital part of helping dairy farmers manage nitrogen and phosphorus losses from their farming systems, meet nutrient loss limits and pursue continuous improvement in nutrient use efficiency.
“We are pleased that the certification programme continues to attract more and more qualified people. We now have over 130 certified advisers working throughout the country, from Northland to Southland, with an additional 50+ people in the process of working towards certification,” he said.
The NMACP provides ongoing educational and training opportunities for certified advisers through its programme of continuing professional development. This allows certified advisers to improve their knowledge and skills and remain on top of new developments within the sector as they relate to providing nutrient management advice.
“For farmers, obtaining nationally consistent nutrient management advice of the highest standard is an important part of farming within environmental limits. With a certified adviser, farmers have the certainty of knowing that their adviser is professionally trained, well-experienced, and undergoes continuous improvement in order to remain certified,” said Mladenov.
Certification is open to all professionals who have the appropriate qualifications and experience.
For more information and to view the full list of certified advisers, visit www.nmacertification.org.nz.
Krystal Guppy Dr Philip Mladenov
HenleyHutchings Chief Executive, Fertiliser Association of New Zealand
Ph: 027 579 7005 Ph: 04 473 6552
Sustainable Dairying: Water Accord
A copy of the Water Accord can be downloaded from Dairy NZ’s website, here:
About the Fertiliser Association of New Zealand
The Fertiliser Association of New Zealand (FANZ) is a trade association representing the New Zealand manufacturers of superphosphate and nitrogen fertilisers. FANZ has two member companies – Ballance Agri-Nutrients Ltd and Ravensdown Limited. Both of these companies are farmer owned co-operatives with some 45,000 farmer shareholders between them. FANZ member companies supply over 98 per cent of all fertiliser used in New Zealand. This represents a $2 billion share of the market.
To promote good management practices, FANZ and its member companies develop training programmes, codes of practice and industry information fact sheets. They fund research, partner with government on research and development projects and work closely with other organisations in the agricultural sector on industry-good issues. Industry research and development spending exceeds $16 million per annum. This includes funding for the OVERSEER® nutrient management tool.
FANZ supports and encourages an environmentally responsible science-based approach to nutrient management and its regulation. FANZ member companies provide products that are critical to New Zealand farming systems along with research that supports both environmentally sustainable farming practices and government’s export growth agenda.
More information about FANZ can be found on the website at www.fertiliser.org.nz
About the Nutrient Management Adviser Certification Programme
When was the NMACP established?
The programme has been operating since November 2013. It was established as part of Transforming the Dairy Value Chain, a Primary Growth Partnership programme with the Ministry for Primary Industries. The NMACP was developed by the Fertiliser Association of New Zealand, one of the commercial partners in the programme.
What organisations are part of the programme?
17 primary sector organisations have committed to the NMACP and make up a pan-sector Stakeholder Advisory Group.
Who ensures the NMACP is maintained to a high standard?
A Standard Setting Group provides independent oversight of the programme standards and quality assurance processes, including pass marks, candidate eligibility and continuing professional development requirements.
Who can become a Certified Adviser?
Certification is open to all nutrient management professionals who meet the prerequisites and standards set for New Zealand.
Certified advisers have an expert understanding of the following areas:
The Code of Practice for Nutrient Management
Fertiliser products and their quality control and storage
Environmental perspectives on water quality issues
Farming practices and economics
Pasture and cropping management
Practical use of OVERSEER covering production and environmental considerations for land management
Use of the Best Practice Data Input Standards for OVERSEER and the production of compliant nutrient budgets
How do advisers remain certified?
To retain certification, a minimum of 15 hours of approved continuing professional development activity must be gained by certified advisers each year.
How do I locate a Certified Adviser?
A list of certified nutrient management advisers, their contact details and the regions where they work is provided on the programme’s website www.nmacertification.org.nz.