Root zone re­al­ity

NZ Grower - - NEWS - By Paul John­stone, Plant & Food Re­search

A com­mon theme in many ar­eas is the re­quire­ment that grow­ers should, as a min­i­mum, be man­ag­ing nu­tri­ents ac­cord­ing to agreed good man­age­ment prac­tices.

How­ever, there is rel­a­tively lit­tle longterm mea­sure­ment of how good man­age­ment prac­tices through­out New Zealand im­pact losses of ni­tro­gen (N) and phos­pho­rus (P) from the root zone of crop­ping pad­docks. To help fill this gap, two new projects started in July 2014. The projects are sup­ported by the Min­istry for Pri­mary In­dus­tries’ Sus­tain­able Farm­ing Fund, the Foun­da­tion for Arable Re­search, Horticulture New Zealand, En­vi­ron­ment Can­ter­bury, Hori­zons Re­gional Coun­cil, Hawke’s Bay Re­gional Coun­cil, Waikato Re­gional Coun­cil, Auck­land Re­gional Coun­cil, Ravens­down and Plant & Food Re­search. The projects have es­tab­lished a net­work of mon­i­tor sites in com­mer­cial fields to quan­tify losses of ni­tro­gen and phos­pho­rus in leachate wa­ter.

_____________________________________________________________ Min­imis­ing nu­tri­ent losses from crop­ping sys­tems makes good fi­nan­cial sense. It also min­imises any ad­verse im­pacts on our wa­ter­ways, which is im­por­tant in many re­gions as new na­tional wa­ter pol­icy re­quire­ments are im­ple­mented.

The projects will ini­tially run for three years. They will pro­vide a plat­form for on­go­ing ex­ten­sion ef­forts to en­sure nu­tri­ent-re­lated good man­age­ment prac­tices are widely en­dorsed and adopted by grow­ers and re­gional coun­cils. Data will also be avail­able

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