Free resources on hand to navigate nitrogen reports


“Improving nitrogen use efficiency is not only good for the environment, it’s good for business. 

January 17, 2016

Free resources on hand to navigate nitrogen reports

Dairy farmers around the country can access free support to help them come to grips with their farm nitrogen reports and how to use them to support N-loss improvements, thanks to a partnership between Ballance Agri-Nutrients, Fonterra, Tatua and Dairy Women’s Network, and DairyNZ.

Timed to coincide with the release of the reports, experts including nutrient specialists, dairy industry experts and farmers, have just completed a series of workshops in Taranaki, Southland and Waikato following a national roadshow in autumn this year, but the learning doesn’t stop there.

Ballance Environmental Management Specialist Ian Power says it’s not possible for everyone to take time out for a workshop.  The team has acted on feedback from the first round of roadshows to improve the programme and extend the learning online to help farmers everywhere turn their reports into action.

Anyone can access free resources including videos and workbooks from

Facebook users can ‘like’ the Ballance Facebook page for frequent tips, and Ballance Nutrient Specialists are available to offer expert advice on 0800 222 090.

Reports going back to farmers provide nitrogen loss and nitrogen conversion efficiency performance information and benchmarks. We help farmers take things a step further by showing them what factors influence the nitrogen loss and nitrogen use efficiency values reported, and offer some really practical ways to change them for the better.

Options for improving nitrogen use efficiency span fertiliser use, effluent management, pasture, supplement use and stock management.

Ian says that if you don’t increase stocking rates, you can increase your production without increasing nitrogen inputs, or you can maintain production and decrease your nitrogen inputs.  Both options will usually result in increased nitrogen conversion efficiency, and this is often accompanied by a decrease in nitrogen loss to water.  The strategy you choose will depend on farm goals and the scope within the farm system to increase production, reduce nitrogen inputs or use them better.

“Improving nitrogen use efficiency is not only good for the environment, it’s good for business.  Progressive farmers are using the annual reporting to fine-tune their strategies for using nitrogen more efficiently while maintaining or improving production.”

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