Find out about Overseer, its history, and uses.

The uses of Overseer

Overseer helps farmers and growers understand the effects of their nutrient management practices on-farm.

Developed in New Zealand by AgResearch, Overseer incorporates 30 years of science model development. It produces nutrient budgets and helps farmers understand how nutrients are cycled on different parts of their farm. Farmers can then target use and minimise waste.

The software combines data on farm management, topography, soil, and climate to determine nutrient losses and greenhouse gas emissions.

Overseer can be used to assess nutrient losses for dairy, sheep and beef, dairy goats, deer, outdoor pigs, kiwifruit, viticulture, and a range of vegetables and arable crops. It can assess a mixed farm system that includes any of these different enterprises.

Overseer is owned by the Ministry for Primary Industries, the Fertiliser Association of New Zealand, and AgResearch Limited. It is licenced to Overseer Limited who deliver the OverseerFM service.

Ownership of Overseer and its history

The Ministry for Primary Industries, AgResearch, and the Fertiliser Association of New Zealand each hold one-third stakes in the Overseer intellectual property. In 2016, they established Overseer Limited to manage, develop, and license Overseer for use.

Media release: Overseer becomes a not-for-profit company

Overseer Limited released OverseerFM in June 2018. This paid software service is part of an agreed business plan. OverseerFM is updated regularly – details are available at the OverseerFM website.

Overseer technical review began in 2020

After a selection process, a panel of 8 independent experts was commissioned in early 2020 to carry out a technical review of the Overseer models. The review is part of wider efforts to improve decision-making tools used by farmers and growers.

Find out about the 2020 technical review of the Overseer models

Media release about the panel and the review (March 2020)

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