Pioneering to Precision: application of fertiliser in Hill Country
The Pioneering to Precision programme, led by Ravensdown, seeks to improve fertiliser practice on hill country farms through remote sensing of the nutrient status of the farms and precision application of fertiliser.
Programme start: October 2013
Length: 8.5 years
PGP funding: $5.671 million
Industry funding: $5.946 million
Crown funding paid out to programme for work done as at 30 June 2021: $5.434 million
Commercial partners: Ravensdown Fertiliser Co-op Ltd
Estimated potential economic benefits to NZ: The programme is expected generate additional export earnings of $120 million per annum by 2030 and contribute a net economic benefit of $734 million to the New Zealand economy over the period 2020 to 2050.
Currently, fertiliser is applied to hill country farms using top dressing aircraft which broadcast the fertiliser in blanket applications over farm land, assuming the nutrient status of the land is relatively uniform. This results in over-fertilising and wastage in some areas, and under fertilising and poor growth in others.
This programme is intended to improve the productivity of hill country sheep and beef farming through more efficient use of fertiliser. Precision application technology will be developed using remote sensing of the nutrient status of the land to determine where nutrients should be targeted. GPS guided aircraft will deliver fertiliser to targeted areas of the farm. The technology will also enable farmers to minimise the discharge of nutrients into water ways in critical areas.
If successful, this programme will transform the way fertiliser is applied in farming in New Zealand. It will improve the profitability of hill country farming and generate earnings of $120 million per annum by 2030 from additional exports of meat and wool.
Find out more
Outcome logic model for PGP Ravensdown Programme [PDF, 74 KB]
Audit: Assurance on Ravensdown's use of PGP funding [PDF, 668 KB]
Quarterly progress report summaries
PSG Meeting Date: 3/8/18
Prepared by: Mike White, Technical Development Manager
Updated: 31 August 2018
Printed: 31 August 2018