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NZ groundspreaders celebrate 60 years of helping farmers

MEDIA RELEASE
11th July 2016

NZ groundspreaders celebrate 60 years of helping farmers

Nearly 200 groundspreaders from across the country will, next week, gather in Nelson for the 60th Annual Conference of long-standing trade organisation – the New Zealand Groundspread Fertilisers’ Association (NZGFA).

Conference attendees – ground spreaders, suppliers, trainers, auditors and testers – will hear from key speakers including Hon. Damien O’Connor (West Coast MP and Labour’s Spokesperson for Primary Industries), Mark Wynne, CEO of Ballance Agri- Nutrients, Mike Whitty, General Manager Marketing of Ravensdown Fertiliser Cooperative and Nelson forestry contractor and health and safety pioneer, Dale Ewers.

“Health and safety and accident prevention are high on our agenda this year,” explains Brent Scully, NZGFA President. “Fertiliser spreading is a demanding job involving heavy plant, complex equipment and often steep terrain. Machine operators and spreader drivers undergo intense training; however, errors do occur and accidents do happen. We want to do everything we can to minimise risk for the men and women in this industry."

Themed “60 Years and Growing”, the conference celebrates the role accurate fertiliser spreading has played in the history of New Zealand’s agricultural success.

It also recognises that fertiliser groundspreading is becoming more technically demanding as it meets the farming industry’s ever-increasing agronomic and environmental standards.

Mr Scully says: “As more fertiliser users understand the importance of using Fertmark fertilisers, spread by Spreadmark accredited professionals, the demand for trained operators is increasing. And as our industry expands, so too does our reputation as being vital to helping farmers achieve the best possible agronomical and environmental results."

The 60th Annual NZGFA Conference will take place between 17 – 19th July 2016 at the Rutherford Hotel, Nelson. Go to http://fertqual.co.nz/nzgfa for full details.

Note to editors:

NZGFA was formed in 1956 as a national association to represent fertiliser bulk spreading operators. The membership has grown over the years from the inaugural 29 North Island members to current membership of over 200 fertiliser spreading and allied companies, across seven national branches.

The NZGFA promotes best practice in fertiliser spreading and established the Spreadmark fertiliser placement quality assurance programme in 1994. The Spreadmark scheme is governed by the Fertiliser Quality Council and operates closely with its sister scheme, Fertmark. The two schemes operate to ensure that high quality fertiliser is manufactured, mixed and spread in a way that precision agriculture is fostered and the environment is protected.


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