Fertmark and Spreadmark provide peace of mind
15th February 2017
Fertmark and Spreadmark provide peace of mind says Anders Crofoot, Chairman, Fertiliser Quality Council (FQC)
Too many farmers and growers are still not asking their fertiliser suppliers if the product they are buying has been independently audited and approved by the Fertmark scheme – according to Anders Crofoot, FQC Chairman and Vice-President of Federated Farmers.
This means that fertiliser users who don’t use reputable suppliers are leaving themselves wide open to being sold products that have not been verified as containing what they say they contain.
“The Fertmark scheme was launched nearly 25 years ago (after the government withdrew from fertiliser auditing), to provide quality assurance that what’s on the product is what’s in the product,” explains Mr Crofoot. “It was set up by farmers for farmers who were concerned that, left unchecked, the fertiliser industry would pose serious threat to farming practice, production, pasture care, animal welfare and the environment.”
To ensure that no fertiliser user is applying a product that isn’t true to label, the FQC is urging all fertiliser users to look for the Fertmark logo when buying. Or, if ordering bulk over the phone, to ask if a Fertmark tick is in place.
Mr Crofoot says that farmers and growers are largely very trusting but warns that there are unscrupulous companies out there ready to take advantage. He adds that the FQC is also encouraging fertiliser users to look out for the Spreadmark logo when choosing a ground or aerial spreader.
Spreadmark is a fertiliser placement quality assurance programme. It has as its objective the placement of fertilisers in locations where they can be of the most agricultural benefit and the least environmental harm.
“There is no doubt that the proper placement of fertiliser is of considerable agronomic benefit to farmers and growers and will help protect the environment from the undesirable side effects of poor fertiliser spreading practices.”
Importantly, Spreadmark accredited companies have undergone driver training, spreader vehicle testing and a company audit to ensure that the farmer’s needs are best being met.
Mr Crofoot concludes that farmers who use a Fertmark registered fertiliser product together with a Spreadmark accredited company can be assured of the best agricultural, environmental and economic returns – as well as peace of mind that they are getting the job done correctly, with the right product and to a high industry standard.
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