Nitrogen and phosphorus from agriculture can contribute to elevated levels of these nutrients in waterways if farm management practices do not manage the risks of sediment movement, runoff and leaching.
The Australian Fertilizer Industry, through Fertilizer Australia, has made a significant investment in promoting good farming practices through the Fertcare program.
Fertilizer Australia is also involved with governments and farmer organisations in Australia in developing and implementing policies that reduce the risk of nutrients entering waterways and improve the efficiency of use by farmers.
Nitrogen can also contribute to greenhouse gas emissions if management practices lead to denitrification and the release of nitrous oxide from farmland.
Good farm practices can minimize this risk and this is covered in the Fertcare program.
An analysis of greenhouse gas contributions by fertilizers and the effect of intensification of agriculture has been conducted by the International Fertilizer Association (IFA). It concludes that intensification of agriculture produces far less greenhouse contribution than expanding land area.
The Fertcare Program provides national, independent, competency based training on nutrients, fertilizers and environmental risk management. Training is delivered by registered training organizations under the Australian Qualifications Framework.
Fertcare also certifies spreading machinery and accredits and audits advisers who provide detailed advice based on soil and plant testing.
Fertcare ensures that the industry provides good advice to customers that takes account of environmental risk management as well as productivity outcomes.