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Leading Fertiliser Expert Retires

One of the fertiliser industry’s most respected authorities - Tim Johnston, senior technical advisor for Ballance Agri-Nutrients Ltd - has retired after 19 years in the industry.

Appointed as the Senior Technical Advisor to BOP Fertiliser (now Ballance Agri-Nutrients Ltd), on its formation in 1987, Mr Johnston has been responsible for the company’s agronomic research and development programme, its technical marketing activities and technical support and training of field staff.

“I have seen many changes in the industry in my time and have always tried to operate by the dictum of ‘is what we are doing in the interests of maintaining or improving the comparative advantage of the New Zealand farmer?’,” says Mr Johnston.

Mr Johnston’s notable achievements include heading up the Supergro campaign which had the slogan “Supergro – the difference between arable and ‘orrible land’ which was an unqualified success leading to the growth in sales from 1m tonnes in 1986 to 2m tonnes in 1992.

He was also responsible for initiating the development of the science funding programme the fertiliser industry has in place today and has been a member of the Fertiliser Industry Technical Committee since its inception in 1987.

Chairman of Ballance Agri-Nutrients Ltd, Mr Peter Jensen, says Mr Johnston made a tremendous contribution to the agricultural industry in general and Ballance in particular.

“Tim has extensive links within the scientific and agricultural community and managed to share a good deal of his knowledge with our staff over the years. We wish him all the best in his retirement,” says Mr Jensen.

Before joining the fertiliser industry in 1983, Mr Johnston had a successful career as a farm management consultant both in New Zealand and overseas. He was a partner in New Zealand’s largest agricultural consulting practice at the time, Ashworth and Associates. In addition to this, Mr Johnston spent time with a Food & Agricultural Organisation (FAO) World Bank farm management project in Tanzania and also worked on projects in Uganda, Thailand, Turkey and Pakistan.

Mr Johnston was a founding member of the New Zealand Institute of Primary Industry Management and served on many branch committees and on the national council. He has been a member of the Institute of Agricultural Science and New Zealand Grasslands Association. In 1997, he was awarded the inaugural NZGA Industry Services Award.

Outside work, Mr Johnston is a Justice of the Peace, a district councillor for the Matamata Piako District Council and has served as a Vestry Representative for the St Matthews Anglican Church in Morrinsville. He is currently working with the church on the provision of care for the elderly.

*** ENDS ***

About Ballance Agri-Nutrients Ltd

Ballance Agri-Nutrients Ltd, New Zealand’s leading manufacturer and marketer of fertiliser, brings together the identities of three iconic regional fertiliser businesses - BOP Fertiliser, Petrochem and SouthFert – to create a national business renowned for the quality of its products and the knowledge of its people.

With more than 450 employees, Ballance Agri-Nutrients Ltd produces and sells 1.3 million tonnes of product annually, creating a turnover of around $350 million. Its leading products include superten, pasturemag, pasturezeal and New Zealand’s premium urea product, n-rich urea.

Through its links with Norsk Hydro, the world’s largest fertiliser producer, which owns 20 per cent of its business, Ballance Agri-Nutrients Ltd also has access to the products and knowledge generated by a $US30 million annual spend on Research and Development.

Ballance has three phosphate manufacturing plants located at Mount Maunganui, Invercargill and Whangarei and it also operates New Zealand's only ammonia urea plant at Kapuni, in Taranaki. Its head office is situated in Mt Maunganui.

For further information:
Peter Mourits, Market Development Manager, Ballance Agri-Nutrients Ltd
Phone: (07) 575 4159
Mobile: (025) 458 497

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