Sam Fordham

UK farmers are set to benefit from a revolutionary digital tool which can create a full nutrient management plan in minutes.

Nutrient management planning matches inputs to crop demand. Records relating to the storage and application of inputs such as slurry and manure are key pieces of documentation required by the government and industry bodies to demonstrate compliance with regulation and environmental standards.

But the information required is often stored on multiple platforms or in paper form, making records hard to access and inaccurate.

An update to RHIZA’s market-leading digital platform, Contour, includes the introduction of a digital nutrient management planning tool suitable for grassland farming compliance.

In a single system, Contour’s Nutrient Management Planner (NMP) and compliance tool will enable users to create plans that meet NVZ regulations, as well as N-max and livestock, manure and storage calculations.

Set to be released next month, the system will prove invaluable for agronomists and FACTS-qualified advisers striving to move away from paper records or aiming keep all relevant data on a single system.

Jamie Lyttle, Fertiliser Product Manager at Agrii, says the development will revolutionise and streamline nutrient management planning on a number of fronts.

“I personally create about 100 plans a year and it can take several months to pull together due to the complexity and sheer volume of information required,” Jamie said.

“In terms of compliance, it’s a huge benefit to be able to produce the necessary reports for an Environment Agency visit or Red Tractor inspection at the click of a button.

“Farmers are time-poor and this new functionality is a huge step forward both in terms of efficiency and modernising what has become a cumbersome and complicated process.”

Contour’s nutrient management planner will have huge benefits for mixed farms using the platform already.

“With all compliance there really is a lot of data to gather and record, and this is amplified when livestock are involved. This is where Contour really comes into its own,” says Sam Fordham, Head of Technical for RHIZA.

“Basic information is stored on the platform and can be reused in future plans, saving the need to
re-enter data each year.

“NMP and compliance are already complicated enough to understand, and so many of the tools on the market rely on laborious data entry and calculations which have to be carried out.”

Users can enter all livestock numbers, record types and size of on-farm storage, manage imports and exports of manures to the farm and demonstrate that all the legislation requirements have been met.

In the past five years, environmental legislation around the application of nutrients to the soil has tightened. As a result, guidelines for farmers have become far more prescriptive to reduce losses into the atmosphere or water.

Rules differ according to the geographical location of farms, but all are focused on driving down ammonia or nitrous oxide gasses being released into the air, or nitrate leaching and phosphates running off into watercourses.

With both zonal and whole field planning available including more end-use options and improved nutrient recommendations for grass, Contour caters for all farming businesses.

Another key feature of the NMP tool is its ability to pull data from other parts of the Contour programme in order to avoid data being input twice.

“Double entry of data is a massive blocker for adopting new tools, especially with something like compliance, which you need to do and often requires detailed information,” Sam added.

RHIZA and its sister company Origin Digital worked alongside agronomists, compliance specialists and EA inspectors throughout its development to ensure the tool is both as compliant and as easy to use as possible.

“With increasing scrutiny from the wider public, government and environmental bodies and the need for growers to provide justification and demonstrate their business is in accordance with the rules, this is a really important product and service for us”, says Jon Greenman, Commercial Manager for RHIZA.

“Being able to provide an industry leading nutrient planning and compliance tool brings us lots of opportunities for new revenue streams and adds breadth to our digital offering alongside our precision planning tools.

“The first release will be available to all UK regions, but to begin with, NVZ rules will only be for England and Wales.

On the Contour platform, RHIZA delivers an unparalleled level of insight, enhancing yields, reducing risks, saving time and optimising inputs.

Users of Contour already have access to Cranfield soil data, rainfall data per farm, cropping and soil analysis, if sampled by RHIZA. This latest update follows the same basic design and workflows as the rest of Contour, ensuring a consistent and intuitive user experience.


Notes to editors

About Agrii

Agrii harnesses the power of skilled agronomists and the best intelligence to deliver unrivalled expertise and support for sustainable and profitable farming systems in the UK. As a leading provider of agronomy services, technology and strategic advice, Agrii combines excellence and innovation with the latest research and development to ensure our customers can meet today’s farming challenges with knowledge and confidence.

More info:

For more information contact:

Becca Cook, Agrii

Tel: 07866 142 104

Written by:

Ben Pike, Eve Communications

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