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Nitrogen inhibitors hold huge promise

Nitrogen inhibitors hold huge promise

Jim Anderton welcomed the results from controlled research trials showing nitrogen inhibitors have the potential to reduce nitrogen losses by up to 60 -70 percent


Minister of Agriculture, Jim Anderton welcomed the results from controlled research trials showing nitrogen inhibitors have the potential to reduce nitrogen losses by up to 60 -70 per cent. The recent review was released tonight by the Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium (PGGRC).

"This is good news for farmers and New Zealand as a whole. Nitrogen inhibitors have the potential to make a huge difference to nitrogen losses into our waterways and to reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time this technology can improve on-farm productivity and reduce input costs to farmers," said Jim Anderton.

Nitrification inhibitors help reduce the environmental impacts of nitrogen fertilisers and livestock urine. They are designed to reduce nitrous oxide emissions, which are powerful greenhouse gases, and nitrate leaching by holding nitrogen in the soil. Reducing the loss of nitrogen means less costly fertiliser is required and improvements in pasture growth.

"This is precisely the kind of technology we need for win-win scenarios in improving environmental performance and economic productivity. This is an example of what is good for business can be also be good for the environment," said Jim Anderton.

The review was undertaken for the PGGRC by the University of Melbourne and will be used to develop a research programme to support the increased use of inhibitors across the sector.

"Reductions will vary according to soil type and climate, and in some areas the reduction could be more like 20-30 per cent. But even a 20 percent reduction in nitrogen losses will be enormously helpful. Sustained nationally this would produce an extremely positive result and I am excited about the promise this holds," he says.

"The potential of these findings, and how to translate the science into farming practice will be issues that the Government, the industry and the researchers will be discussing over coming months when the Government consults on its soon to be released Land Use and Climate Change discussion document," said Mr Anderton.


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