The New Zealand Fertiliser Quality Council (FQC) is reminding farmers to be vigilant about checking product labels and service details ahead of fertilising and spreading this spring.
Farmers should look out for the two distinctive quality assurance motifs – Fertmark and the Spreadmark – when choosing a fertiliser product and a spreading company, says Anders Crofoot, Chairman of the FQC.
Fertiliser products carrying the Fertmark tick have been independently audited and conform to the Fertmark Code of Practice – an industry guidance document that complies with the requirements of the Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines Act around food safety and animal welfare.
The Spreadmark is granted to fertiliser spreading companies that hold Spreadmark Test Certificates for their spreaders, have trained drivers and have undergone an independent audit. Spreadmark accredited companies are proficient in spreading fertiliser accurately, evenly and only where specified.
Ann Thompson, FQC’s Executive Director, explains that often fertiliser quality and good spreading practice is assumed, but only the Fertmark tick for fertiliser and the Spreadmark assurance for spreading fertiliser provides a guarantee of quality.
“New Zealand farmers are well known for being conscientious and wanting the best for the land and livestock. However, not all products and services are of the same high standard that farmers expect. This is where the Fertmark and Spreadmark – both easily identifiable – play their part in assuring farmers that they are choosing the best product and best practice, with improved productivity as the outcome.”
A list of accredited groundspreading companies can be downloaded from the FQC