Nutrient budgets

Nutrient budgetsNutrient budgets are an essential tool for today's farmer. They are required by Regional Council's to show them what and how many nutrients are leaving your farm system.

Completing a nutrient budget will enable you to understand and better manage the nutrients that you require for your farming system, saving you valuable dollars and is a more efficient use of fertiliser and nutrients on your farm. Whether you are in a High Risk nutrient zone, part of an irrigation scheme, want to sell your farm or just need to know the nutrient status of your farm, you should complete a nutrient budget using the Overseer model.

The use of Overseer is expected to increase substantially as Regional Councils begin to implement the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management, under New Zealand’s Resource Management Act.

If it is not a requirement for you at the moment, it is likely be in the near future and is now accepted as best management practice to have a nutrient budget for your enterprise.

OVERSEER predicts nutrient losses as part of a farm's nutrient budget. It is the only tool available in New Zealand that produces annual nutrient loss information at a farm-scale across a wide-range of farm systems. Because of this, and because it uses readily available and auditable information, it is being increasingly used to inform regulation to limit nutrient losses from agricultural land to protect water quality.

What is a Nutrient Budget?

A nutrient budget tells you how much is coming in and how much is going out and to where.
This information can be used to judge how efficient your farm system is in its use of available nutrients.

OVERSEER calculates nutrient budgets for seven major farm nutrients:
  • Nitrogen (N)
  • Phosphorus (P)
  • Potassium (K)
  • Sulfur (S)
  • Calcium (Ca)
  • Magnesium (Mg)
  • Sodium (Na)
  • as well as acidity for pastural blocks

OVERSEER also allows farmers to predict the likely impacts of changes in their management practices or farm systems. The ability to test different approaches is really important if a farm is located in a sensitive catchment that requires all land-users to take steps to reduce their impact on the environment.


Agri Planz
Lyndon Taylor
  • 40 Estuary Crescent
  • Fairfield
  • 9018 Dunedin
  • New Zealand
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