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Potatoes NZ Emissions Taskforce

Potatoes New Zealand has begun work on an Emissions Project which was launched on the 14th August 2019 at their biennial conference in Christchurch.

On Friday the 13th September the Potatoes NZ Emissions Taskforce comprised of 20 expert growers, agronomists, researchers, advisors and the PNZ team drilled down into the increasing requirement for industries to understand and predict their environmental emissions, how best to meet the requirements and the methods required for the Emissions Project’s aims. It was the first such meeting of the taskforce to kick start this long-term project.

The PNZ Emissions Project has been in the planning stages for some time and several smaller projects in recent years have been building towards this sustainable industry initiative.

The multi-workstream nationwide project will analyse nitrate uptake and nutrient leaching, calculate carbon emissions, test Teralytic soil probe data efficacy, validate Overseer predictions for potato crops in multiple regions throughout New Zealand and develop tools for nitrate mitigation.

The overall aims are:

- To maintain the potato industry’s social license to operate

- To protect the ability to grow, process & export potatoes, whilst meeting environmental standards and maintaining international competitiveness

- To ensure industry access to land, water and nutrients through National, Regional and farm programs in order to achieve industry growth targets.

PNZ anticipate the outcome will be a greater understanding of how much nitrate and nutrients potatoes take-up and how much they possibly leach, whilst also clarifying the most effective means of measuring and mitigating this.

PNZ will then be able to provide growers with the tools to easily manage and meet requirements. Our Emissions Taskforce will do the testing and development work and growers will reap the rewards of a smart and sustainable approach to farm management including nitrate mitigation.

What does it mean for growers?

Growers daily farm management will follow the same process as it always has. The recording of nutrient application volumes (completed or planned) is the data which needs to be recorded.

All other data will be gathered and analysed by the project workstreams assigned across the taskforce.

By the end of the project growers will have intelligent tools to easily manage their farms in an environmentally sustainable way.

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