This paper introduces a closed system lysimeter design to measure fertilizer performance on ryegrass. The lysimeter will measure plant mass growth, gas emissions and leachate in a controlled climate environment based on a long term 90 day spring climate from the Taranaki. A range of commercial fertilizers will be compared to bespoke fertilizers manufactured under this project. This work, although undertaken in laboratory conditions will help quantify the impacts of nitrogenous fertilizers on the environment by mimicking actual conditions in a controlled setting. The study should provide data on the effectiveness of novel fertilizers manufactured within the programme; and other slow and controlled fertilizers, in reducing nitrogen leaching and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on pasture. Nitrogenous fertilizers readily leach as nitrates are highly soluble and GHG are emitted through volatilisation of ammonia and nitrous oxide. Reduced leaching and volatilisation increases fertilizer efficiency as less is wasted and more is attenuated in the plant. The aims of the research are to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of nitrogen fertilizer use in New Zealand. This should benefit farmers by reducing the amount of fertilizer applied, ideally reducing fertilizer cost, or at no extra cost by improved plant attenuation. This would also have an environmental benefit through reduced leaching and GHG emissions.
Occasional Report No. 32. Fertilizer and Lime Research Centre, 2019, 32 (32), pp. ? - ? (8)