The New Zealand Fertiliser Quality Council (FQC) will be using a webcast, streamed live, to launch their new educational program, New Zealand Needs Fertiliser and Plants Need Food. The webcast will come from the University of Waikato in Hamilton.
FQC chair, Neil Barton, said that the message needed to be told both strongly and simply. "New Zealand cannot survive without farming, farming cannot survive without fertiliser," Neil Barton said. "It is as simple as that.
"What some self-styled environmental crusaders seem to miss is that the vast majority of farmers are excellent stewards of their land. Most regularly soil test to determine soil nutrient levels, assess the nutrient needs of plants through the use of the 'Overseer' nutrient management program and then only use Fertmark registered ethical fertilisers spread by Spreadmark accredited operators.
"What that means is they only apply fertiliser to supply the nutrients needed to where it needs to be applied. They apply it at the time of year when it will be of most benefit and cause least runoff, and only use a fertiliser that has been independently audited so they know the exact amount of nutrients being applied. Further, a Spreadmark professional knows how to spread fertiliser with precision and that means it only goes on the paddock. It is a strong story that needs to be told.
"If we don't use fertiliser as and where it is required we are effectively mining our soils with all the negative implications that has," Neil Barton said.
The program will be officially launched at 5.45pm on Tuesday May 22nd by the Chair of the Primary Production Select Committee, Shane Ardern MP, and Prof Jacqueline Rowarth, Professor of Agribusiness at the University of Waikato's Management School. The webcast will be available nationally and internationally on the FQC website - www.fqc.co.nz
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