22 Jan 2013

Call to apply nutrient management software to crops

8:04 am on 22 January 2013

The Foundation for Arable Research (FAR) is calling for improvements to the Overseer system used for farm nutrient management, so it can be applied effectively to cropping as well as pastoral farms.

Overseer is a computer programme that calculates the nutrient flows on farms and helps farmers manage potential environmental risks from nutrient run-off and leaching and greenhouse gas emissions.

It was developed by owners AgResearch, the Fertiliser Association and Primary Industries Ministry, initially for use on pastoral farms but is now being applied to cropping farms as well.

The arable research foundation's director of research development, Roger Williams, says FAR decided to commission a independent review from a panel of local and overseas experts because regional councils are now specifying its use as part of their plans to improve water quality.