Root zone reality
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