The 190 kg/ha synthetic nitrogen fertiliser cap (190 N-cap), one of a group of rules within central government’s Essential Freshwater package, became effective on July 1st, 2021.
Cue a collective sigh on the ‘yet more paperwork’ part.
Sigh over? It’s time to don our renowned kiwi innovation hats and approach from a place of turning challenges into opportunities or face regulation fatigue at its best.
Here’s the long and the short of the 190 N-cap rule to get your head around before we share some great advice and extoll the virtues of FarmIQ in this regulatory space:
- It applies to the average synthetic N across effective farm hectarage, meaning whatever you apply to effective land under pasture must not exceed 190 kg per hectare.
- It only applies to synthetic nitrogen fertiliser, not N from effluent or other biological sources.
- It applies to contiguous land parcels – so if you’ve two or more blocks in your farm business and they don’t share a common boundary, each block will need to record and meet its own 190 N-cap.
- All dairy farmers will have to report on synthetic N use to their regional council by July 31st of the following year – if they are found to have exceeded the N-cap in the reporting year, they will have to apply (and pay) for resource consent as a non-complying activity for the following year (think provisional tax), which could include a plan (potentially within an FEP) that demonstrates how N use reductions to the 190 N-cap will be made.
Essential Freshwater policy views N use in isolation – its impact on water quality, but we know and have to deal with its many other impacts, such as productivity, animal health and economics, and it’s here that opportunity lies.
The best way to tackle this rule to ensure maximum optimisation for your farm business is to assess where you are now, (pasture covers, soil health and fertility, budget), then get in touch with your consultant and/or fertiliser rep to make a plan that meets your needs (feed, budget, goals) within the compliance framework.
Of course, assessing where you are now and providing your consultant with accurate, up-to-date information upon which to formulate said plan requires a bit of organising. There’s only so much you can store in your head and if you’re the type that ‘files’ dockets and paperwork in the passenger footwell of your ute you need to read on. Fortunately for you, FarmIQ makes the aforementioned ‘bit of organising’ a breeze so that compliance is not a pain-in-the-proverbial.
Easily record pasture covers, soil tests and fertiliser applications then turn that information in to valuable reports on pasture growth, soil fertility, proof-of-placement and fertiliser use. Then, use those reports to validate nitrogen fertiliser use to your needs, goals and regional council.
If the thought of entering data fills you with dread, ask us about our integrations with TracMap and easy upload functionality with plate meter readings and C-Dax.
Look out for our webinars and info sessions on making the most of FarmIQ functionality to reduce regulation fatigue and optimise opportunities for your farm business. Start by downloading our Essential Guide to the Synthetic Nitrogen Fertiliser cap rules.