Nutrient Management & Environmental Footprinting
The Nutrient Management and Environmental Footprinting team has an international reputation for conducting world class research and knowledge transfer activities that contribute to the sustainability of New Zealand’s pastoral based farming systems.
This team consists of 10 Scientists and 17 Research Associates with capabilities spanning multiple disciplines related to the sustainable production and environmental impacts of agriculture and the development of effective mitigation options. Much of this focus is related to the efficient use of nutrients for profitable farming, namely developing farm management practices and technologies designed to limit nutrient losses to water and atmosphere. Findings from long-term research programs have been used to provide underpinning knowledge for the development of simulation models such as the Greenhouse Gas Inventory model and the OVERSEER® Nutrient Budgets (‘Overseer’).
Overseer (jointly owned by AgResearch, MPI and FertResearch) is a whole farm system model and is the industry standard nutrient budgeting tool which provides fertiliser recommendations and calculates losses of nutrients to water and greenhouse gas emissions (www.overseer.org.nz).
Beyond the farm gate there is increasing interest from international markets for assessments of a products environmental footprint. Lifecycle assessment and management tools are therefore utilised to determine greenhouse gas, nutrient and water footprints of New Zealand’s agricultural products.
The team is based at the Ruakura Research Centre, Hamilton.