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Farm nutrient and water management in the spotlight

More than 250 delegates will meet in Palmerston North next week to discuss sustainable farming.

Nutrient and water management for sustainable farming will be highlighted when New Zealand and international specialists meet next week at Massey University.

More than 250 delegates, including farmers, scientists, rural industry professionals and policy makers, will meet at the 29th Annual Fertilizer and Lime Research Centre Workshop at the Manawatū campus. A key  focus will be integrated nutrient and water management for sustainable farming.

Participants will discuss global issues and research trends in nutrient and water use efficiency. Ninety-seven oral and poster presentations provide the latest developments in nutrient management modelling, identifying natural contaminant attenuation pathways, and soil, land and effluent management to minimise nutrient loss to water and the impact of soil contamination on land use.

The event also showcases New Zealand’s leading edge research in the use of precision irrigation technology and the application of precision agriculture to hill country management..

Centre director, Professor Mike Hedley, says; “the annual workshop is a popular as ever, allowing scientists and consultants to showcase new ideas and information to industry and policy makers. Regional and central government policy makers are eager to find new solutions to the big environmental issues staring down sustainability.”

Massey University Associate Professor in soil chemistry Chris Anderson, a specialist in heavy metal contamination in soils, leads a session that will present the latest information on managing the risk of cadmium accumulation in agricultural soils. Professor Anderson says; "these sessions are great melting pots for discussing prickly problems, and the direction needed in future research and risk management.”

There will be several presentations from international specialists, including Dr Cameron Gourley, from the

Ellinbank Dairy Research station in Victoria, Australia, who will talk about the implications of intensification on nitrogen systems.  Professor Thomas Nemecek and Dr Martina Alig, from Agroscope, the Institute of Sustainability Sciences in Zurich, will speak about life cycle assessments of dairy production systems in their home country of Switzerland.

In the evening of the first day Professor Richard McDowell, chief scientist for the National Science Challenge, “Our land and water”, will give the prestigious Norman Taylor Memorial Lecture on mitigation strategies to reduce phosphorus loss from farmland to surface water.

Click here for the full programme and abstracts.

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