RHIZA introduces digital nutrient management planner for UK farmers


JULY, 2023


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.

To find out more, speak to one of the RHIZA team on 03300 949150 or email info@rhizadigital.co.uk