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Fertiliser Industry Joins Greenhouse Gas Consortium

Sunday, 22 February 2004


The New Zealand Fertiliser Manufacturers’ Research Association (Fert Research) is the latest organisation to formally join the Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium (PGGRC). Through Fert Research, its member companies will make a significant financial contribution to the consortium over the next three to four years.

Within greenhouse gas research, Fert Research’s focus is on funding projects that will minimise nitrous oxide emissions. Dr Hilton Furness, Technical Director of Fert Research, says the industry has been committed to working to address these emissions and is taking the opportunity to join the consortium as it is imperative its activities run alongside that of others looking at reducing the effects of greenhouse gases.

“The PGGRC is the ideal body to co-ordinate research efforts. It is critical to us that any research into nitrous oxide emissions dovetails with that being undertaken into methane emissions. It will ensure we develop and introduce strategies that reduce both types of emissions in a consistent way and enable farmers to successfully put into practice what we learn.”

Fertiliser’s contribution to greenhouse gases comes from the nitrogen component in fertiliser. Fertiliser nitrogen can give rise to nitrous oxide emissions as a result of the natural biological soil processes of nitrification and denitrification. Proposed research will look at reducing nitrous oxide emissions, although only 10% of all agricultural nitrous oxide emissions are generated from fertiliser.

As an industry research body, the PGGRC brings together a range of existing research projects that are investigating improved production efficiency, livestock methane emissions and nitrous oxide emissions from pastoral land. It combines projects and pools investment from a range of consortium members, meaning research is cost-effective, co-ordinated and results-orientated.

The consortium is funded equally by industry and the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, each contributing $1.6million for 2003-2004, making a total of $3.2million funding.

Members of the PGGRC are Meat New Zealand, Wrightson, Fonterra, DEEReasearch, AgResearch, Dairy InSight and Fert Research.

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