Sustainable nutrient management for kiwifruit

Context

Declining freshwater quality and availability are major concerns globally, nationally and locally. To address this in New Zealand, regional councils must implement freshwater management plans by 2025, and they will be directed under the National Objectives Framework (NOF) of the National Policy Statement on Freshwater Management (NPS-FM). Currently, stakeholder community groups (SCGs) in each region are determining freshwater values and any limits and management to protect those values. To inform these discussions, the kiwifruit sector contracted The AgriBusiness Group to clarify nutrient management on kiwifruit orchards and its associated outcomes.

 Description of the project

This project was undertaken in 2015 for Zespri International Ltd (‘Zespri’) to provide an understanding of sustainable nutrient management for the NZ kiwifruit sector. Specifically, it had the following main objectives:

1. Taking into consideration production goals, identify the environmenkiwifruit photo 2tal outcomes associated with current and future nutrient management.

2. To provide advice on sustainable nutrient management practices to minimise any negative impacts.

3. To clarify the future requirements for the industry around nutrient management.

The results including recommendations for minimising nutrient losses were presented to Zespri in a client report and in a NZ Kiwifruit Journal Article (Sep/Oct 2015).

In June 2016, this project led to the development of a short technical report co-authored by Dr Brent Clothier from Plant & Food Research (Science Group Leader – Systems Modelling). This report provides an up-to-date understanding of nutrient losses, particularly nitrogen, from kiwifruit orchards. The intention of this report is to inform community stakeholder groups tasked with determining and protecting freshwater values.

As an adjunct, The AgriBusiness Group in 2016 has also been involved in helping the kiwifruit industry establish a research trial that is measuring nutrient losses from orchards. This multi-year trial is being undertaken by Plant & Food Research, and is being funded by Zespri. The AgriBusiness Group has provided advice on the objectives of this work and guided site selection. It is anticipated that The AgriBusiness Group will also be involved in the analysis of the results.

The results including recommendations for minimising nutrient losses were presented to Zespri in a client report and in a NZ Kiwifruit Journal Article (Sep/Oct 2015). Click here to download the report.

In June 2016, this project led to the development of a short technical report co-authored by Dr Brent Clothier from Plant & Food Research (Science Group Leader – Systems Modelling). This report provides an up-to-date understanding of nutrient losses, particularly nitrogen, from kiwifruit orchards. The intention of this report is to inform community stakeholder groups tasked with determining and protecting freshwater values. Click here to download the report.

The AgriBusiness Group’s role and contact

  • Role: Desktop review, industry consultation, analysis and recommendations.
  • Key contacts: Jayson Benge and Jon Manhire

Published on Friday, July 15th, 2016, under Latest Projects, Research

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