Friday, July 8, 2022

Review backs Overseer

Agricultural nutrient management tool Overseer is set to become an integral part of the arable industry after the findings of a review by an independent expert panel.

The review, commissioned by Foundation for Arable Research (FAR), found Overseer is the best tool available for modelling average nutrient losses through leaching and run-off across farming enterprises in New Zealand.

The panel also concluded that further work on Overseer's application to arable farming was needed to enhance the confidence of that sector in the tool.

"There are enormous advantages in having a tool that is universally used across all farming enterprises,” fertiliser association chief executive Philip Mladenov said, speaking on behalf of the three owners of Overseer.

“It means that everyone talks a common language. It particularly enables the sharing and comparing of information, which will be a very powerful resource for improving nutrient management practice, both for farmers and regulators.”

Mladenov said Overseer is now well established in the dairy industry, being used by more than 80% in the industry, and it is rapidly growing in the sheep and beef industry with roughly 10% penetration.

The FAR review recommended a number of steps that could be taken to enhance Overseer's effectiveness in the arable sector, including further validation studies and methods of entering data about crop rotations.

"We welcome the positive and constructive approach FAR has taken to Overseer and we will be looking to work closely with both FAR and the arable sector as a whole, along with other sectors, to help get farmers to use this modelling tool as quickly as possible," Mladenov said.

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