N-Cap reporting FAQs
By working together, the regional sector and the fertiliser industry has ensured that there is a consistent approach to data calculation and submission across the three tools developed to date. While the intent was to have this system ready for 31 July, developing and testing these tools has taken longer than expected and we are now confident that they will operate as intended when farmers begin to use them.
No action relating to the submission of data will be taken by regional or unitary councils in the period after 31 July 2022 until the end of October 2022. We know that many farmers are keen to submit their data to ensure compliance with the rules, however we asked people to wait until the new national reporting systems were available. Later in the year you may be contacted by your regional council if you have not yet provided your data.
We are aware that many farmers already supply some fertiliser data to their dairy company. The new regulations require different data than what is currently provided. The development of the new tools by the Regional Sector and fertiliser industry has been carried out to meet those different requirements and provide a consistent way for farmers to submit data to their regional or unitary council.
The legislation requires you to provide specific application dates by product as well as average synthetic N applied by land category. This is not included in the Statement of Fertiliser Purchase. The SOFP is also produced for a different time period from the legislation (1 June – 31 May versus the legislated reporting year 1 July – 30 June). Therefore, you cannot only use your annual statement of fertiliser purchase.
The information will be stored by the regional councils for reporting to Ministry of the Environment as required.
A calculation spreadsheet can be used to record nitrogen use and is available from council rural or farm liaison team members. If a farm owner wishes to, they can provide information directly to their regional council using this manual form however this approach is not encouraged.
Enquiries about manual recording should be directed to your regional council.
The Ministry for the Environment has a fact sheet about the synthetic nitrogen cap.
You are not required to provide fertiliser receipts, but it is a good idea to keep the physical receipts of purchase on file, so they are available if there is any query by your council.
The Ministry for the Environment guidance on synthetic nitrogen recording provides a section on what dairy farmers must report to the regional council. It states that farmers must provide “records of all synthetic nitrogen fertiliser purchased during the year”. The N-Cap reporting systems require farmers to record their fertiliser purchases.
In the MyBallance and Ravensdown’s HawkEye systems these date, type and quantity details will be automatically populated for your N-Cap record.
In the Regional Sector N-Cap webform you will need to enter purchase records in fill-in boxes to capture the fertiliser supplier name, purchase date, product name and quantity purchased.
None of the three systems require farmers to provide the physical receipts for their purchases. This approach was adopted by the collaborative work between the regional sector and fertiliser companies. The agreed method provides more useful and consistent summary information on purchase than would have been possible through the provision of receipts.
Sometimes fertiliser costs can be shared by a farm owner and sharemilker, either by splitting an invoice for payment or each buying independently for the same property. The information needed to meet the council and MfE requirements is the application rate of synthetic nitrogen on pastoral land, regardless of the terms of purchase or payment.
You should record the application rates for all synthetic nitrogen fertiliser used on the grazed area; this should be recorded only once for each contiguous landholding. You can keep the physical receipts of purchase on file, so it is available if there is any query by your council.
The preferred way of recording synthetic nitrogen use is through one of the fertiliser company portals – HawkEye or MyBallance. If you are not signed up with either of these, then you can use the N-Cap webform online tool provided by the Regional Sector.
If you cannot access any of these tools, then the best way forward is to get in contact with your regional council to discuss how else you could provide the necessary information.
The simple answer is no. You only need to enter data through one system.
If you purchase from both Ravensdown and Ballance then you can submit your records for both companies through either of their tools. Each company can record fertiliser purchased from another company and from on-farm stored fertiliser.
The simple answer is no. You only need to enter data through one system.
If you choose to record your synthetic nitrogen information in the N-Cap webform, you do not need to record in HawkEye or MyBallance.
If you have not purchased or applied synthetic fertiliser in the 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022 period, please record the synthetic nitrogen use as ‘zero’ in HawkEye, MyBallance or the web portal supplied by the regional sector. This will be the same requirement for any year when you do not use synthetic nitrogen fertiliser.
You do not need to. The MfE Regulations state that all farms need to record synthetic nitrogen use, however the requirement for reporting this to councils is only for dairy farms milking cows.
If you have used a rate greater than 190 kg N/ha it is likely that you will need to apply for a resource consent. In the first instance please contact your regional council. They will discuss your options and provide advice. Your rural or dairy farming rep may also be able to support this process.
With the National Environmental Standards for Freshwater in place from 2020 the records of synthetic nitrogen fertiliser use will need to be part of your Due Diligence for potential farm purchase.
If you have purchased or applied synthetic fertiliser in the 1 June 2022 to 30 June 2022 period, this amount needs to be recorded in your fertiliser supplier’s tool (HawkEye or MyBallance) or the web portal supplied by the Regional Sector. If you have records available from the previous owner this can also be recorded; your complete record for the next season will be required.
If you have not purchased or applied synthetic fertiliser in the 1 June 2022 to 30 June 2022 period, and do not have records from the previous owner, please record the synthetic nitrogen use as ‘zero’ in your fertiliser supplier’s tool (HawkEye or MyBallance) or the N-Cap webform supplied by the regional sector. Your complete record for the next season will be required.
There is good guidance available from the Ministry for the Environment (MfE) about how to record synthetic nitrogen use for these different land uses. Check out the MfE guide.
The use of synthetic nitrogen fertiliser must be recorded for all pastoral use land.
As well as recording synthetic nitrogen use, dairy farm businesses that milk dairy cows must also report their annual records of fertiliser use to the regional council/s with compliance responsibilities for the physical area of the farm.
The fertiliser application records you submit through MyBallance, Ravensdown’s HawkEye or the Regional Sector N-Cap webform is for reporting and meets the MfE requirements.
HawkEye, MyBallance and the N-Cap webform each have functions which allow you to view and download a PDF copy of the information that you, or your representative, have entered for your farm. This is a summary report of all the information you have authorised for submission to the N-Cap data store for reporting to councils and MfE.
The information flows directly to the N-Cap data store and is reported to the regional councils to assist with identifying compliant and non-compliant synthetic nitrogen application rates.
Summary data by region, without individual farm contact information, will be provided to the Ministry for the Environment. Councils will hold the submitted data for compliance purposes. If you have any questions about the information held for your farm, please contact your council.
You will need to record the purchase of liquid fertiliser which contains synthetic nitrogen, this needs to be recorded in one of the fertiliser supplier’s tools (HawkEye or MyBallance) or the web portal (N-Cap webform) supplied by the Regional Sector.
Recording the application rate will require conversion to kg per hectare for the appropriate year.
If you do not have a digital map which is able to interface with either HawkEye or MyBallance then you can use the webform. The N-Cap webform does not require recording of property or land area boundaries at this stage, so this is the place to record the data about your synthetic nitrogen use.
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