Find out about Overseer, its history, and uses.

The uses of Overseer

The Overseer model is a set of mathematical models. The models combine data on land use, soil type and climate to measure nutrient loss and greenhouse gas emissions from farming. It enables farmers and regional councils to estimate nutrient behaviour for a particular farm, to minimise waste.

Overseer is New Zealand’s most commonly used model for calculating nutrient losses on land farmed with livestock and some horticultural, arable, and seed and grain crops.

OverseerFM is an online farm management tool for farmers and advisors, using the Overseer model. It helps farmers calculate the amount of fertiliser they need to use on different parts of their farm, so they can minimise waste by targeting fertiliser use to only where it is needed.

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 2015, they established a not-for-profit company to manage, develop and license Overseer.

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

The most recent software version, OverseerFM, was first released in June 2018. Several updates have since been released, as work continues to improve Overseer’s accuracy and make it applicable for more farming systems.

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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