24 May 2012

Fertiliser industry launches educational programme

9:36 pm on 24 May 2012

The Fertiliser Quality Council used a webcast, to launch a new educational programme this week.

It's targeting schools, spreading the message that New Zealand's economic survival depends on fertiliser.

"Food research maintains that if we stop using fertilisers our soils would be capable of supporting less than half, and possibly as low as 30%, of the animals grazed, or crops grown.

''On that basis our agricultural exports, predicted to reach $40 billion by 2015 would, without fertiliser, by just 20 or even $13 billion - that would be catastrophic for the New Zealand economy", states the webcast.

Taranaki MP Shane Ardern, who launched the programme, pointed out that farmers are far more clued up about the way they use fertiliser now.

He says 99.9% of farmers today are very focused on applying fertiliser accurately, they used a detailed fertiliser management system that is based on science and external advice.

Mr Ardern, a dairy farmer, says farmers soil test, have a nutrient balance and effectively apply different rates of fertiliser to different parts of the farm.