Groundspread NZ launches new website

Groundspread NZ is the new public face of the New Zealand Groundspread Fertilisers’ Association


Groundspread NZ is the new public face of the New Zealand Groundspread Fertilisers’ Association (NZGFA).

Groundspread NZ (NZGFA) was established in 1956 to promote and protect the interests of both individuals and companies involved in the groundspread fertiliser industry. The association is made up of 110 voluntary members from throughout New Zealand, with each member committed to promoting best-practice fertiliser placement. Precision placement of fertiliser requires skilled operators, sound spreading equipment, and appropriate fertilisers.

Groundspreaders are typically the first step in ensuring on-farm productivity by spreading nutrients accurately and evenly, using the latest technology, finely calibrated vehicles, and highly trained operators. Groundspreaders help farmers and growers get the best out of their nutrient spend. The skill involved in groundspreading means that food production in New Zealand gets the best start possible.

The new name and website better share the story of how the association’s members contribute to on-farm performance and are initiatives driven by the association’s new and ambitious strategic plan, committed to ensuring best practices in the groundspread industry. Farmers and growers can now visit to find a spreader in their area, learn more about how the association supports members to operate at the high level that they do, and learn more about the Spreadmark scheme.

Spreadmark, established by Groundspread NZ in 1994, was born from a commitment by the association’s members to improve spreader performance and outcomes for their clients and the environment. Proper placement of fertiliser is of considerable agronomic benefit to farmers and growers and helps protect the environment from the undesirable side effects of poor fertiliser spreading practices.

The latest data from the scheme’s auditor (QCONZ) highlights solid growth in the bout width capabilities of spreader units. In 10 years, spreading widths have increased from 19 to 27 metres for most products, so farmers can be assured their product placement is accurate and that fewer runs of the paddock are required to reduce application costs.

Today, the Spreadmark scheme is governed by the Fertiliser Quality Council, with representatives from Federated Farmers, Groundspread NZ, the NZ Fertiliser Association, the NZ Agricultural Aviation Association, and Fertmark registered fertiliser companies working together to adapt and improve
the scheme.

Groundspread NZ is currently supporting two important fertiliser research projects.

The first is a Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures study by Allister Holmes from Lincoln AgriTech titled ‘Reducing off-target fertiliser application and increasing crop performance by improving blended fertiliser spread uniformity’. Blended fertilisers comprise three or more components and make up approximately 25 to 35% of fertiliser applied annually (2018/19) to New Zealand pastoral and arable farms.

It’s important to understand how blends spread on farms to ensure Spreadmark principles are upheld and over-fertilising doesn’t occur. Groundspread NZ members are supplying the trucks and time for nearly 1000 Spreadmark testing runs and carrying out fertiliser checks during various stages of the supply chain.

A second project is assessing the change in the physical and chemical composition of fertiliser products of different origins through the supply chain to the farm gate. Despite anecdotal knowledge, there’s currently no publicly available data on changes in particle size in the supply chain.

This work is about ensuring top-quality product is placed accurately and most productively on properties.

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