Field Notes, powered by KPMG, is a weekly news update on news nationally and globally from the agri-food sector.
Next year, nitrogen fertiliser will be capped at a maximum of 190 kilograms a hectare as part of the Action for Healthy Waterways policy. It has been estimated that up to a third of dairy farmers as a result will have to cut down on their nitrogen use. AgFirst Economist Phil Journeaux is not sure how the Government came to the conclusion of 190 kilograms a hectare and challenges the claim that the impact will be limited to 2000 farms. Mr Journeaux’s analysis done for the Fertiliser Association calculates that 35 percent of dairy farms will need to lower their typical nitrogen applications. Arable farmers and horticultural growers are exempt from the cap. Massey University Freshwater Ecologist Professor Russell Death, reports that the cap is a band aid solution and is unsure where the 190 kilogram limit has appeared from. Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor acknowledged the limit is a departure from the Government commitment to a more outcome-focused approach to limiting nitrogen.
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