More Profit from Nitrogen

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More Profit from Nitrogen (MPfN): enhancing the nitrogen use efficiency of intensive cropping and pasture systems is a four year partnership between Australia’s four major intensive users of nitrogenous fertilisers: cotton, dairy, sugar and horticulture.

For each of these industries, nitrogen (N) is a significant input cost to producers and a substantial contributor to environmental footprints. Collectively, the program aims to bring about increased farm profitability and reduced environmental impact by increasing nitrogen use efficiency (NUE), resulting in a reduction of the amount of N required in producing each unit of product.

To achieve improved NUE, the program is striving to deliver three major outcomes:

  • Greater knowledge and understanding of the interplay of soil, weather, climatic and farm management factors to optimise N formulation, rate and timing across industries, farming regions and irrigated/ non-irrigated situations;
  • ​Greater knowledge and understanding of the contribution (quantifying rate and timing) of mineralisation to a crop or pasture’s nitrogen budget; and
  • Greater knowledge and understanding of how enhanced efficiency fertiliser (EEF) formulations can better match a crop or pasture’s specific N requirements.


The MPfN Program is managed by CRDC in partnership with Dairy Australia, Sugar Research Australia and Horticulture Innovation Australia. The 10 projects, delivered under the umbrella of MPfN, are conducting field and laboratory research activities involving thirty-one collaborating organisations, led by the following world-class research organisations:

  • NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI)
  • University of Southern Queensland – National Centre for Engineering in Agriculture (USQ)
  • Queensland University of Technology (QUT)
  • University of Melbourne (UoM)
  • Queensland Government – Department of Science and Environment
  • Queensland Government – Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QLD DAF)
  • Northern Territory Government – Department of Primary Industry and Resources (NTDPIR)
  • University of Tasmania – Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (UTAS)


MPfN is supported by $5.889 million funding from the Australian Government’s Rural Research and Development (R&D) for Profit program over four years, with a further $9.757 million cash and in-kind contribution from each of the industry sectors, research organisations and collaborating partners.

Click here to download a copy of the MPfN Program Booklet.

For the latest information on the MPfN individual research projects, follow the links to the industry sites


  • More Profit from Nitrogen: enhancing nutrient use in cotton (Dr Graeme Schwenke, NSW DPI)
  • Optimising nitrogen and water interactions in cotton (Dr Diogenes Antille, USQ)


  • Increasing nitrogen use efficiency in dairy pastures (Dr David Rowling, QUT)
  • Quantifying the whole farm systems impact of nitrogen best practice on dairy farms (Prof. Richard Eckard, UoM)
  • Improving farm NUE using advanced technologies- (Dr Helen Suter, UoM)


  • Improved NUE through accounting for deep soil & mineralisable N supply & deployment of EEFs to better match crop N demand (Dr Lukas Van Zwieten, NSW DPI)
  • Smart blending EEFs to maximise sugarcane profitability- (Dr Weijin Wang, QLD DSITI)
  • New technologies & managements: transforming NUE in cane production (Dr Matt Redding, QLD DAF)

Horticulture - Cherries, Mangoes:

  • Optimising nutrient management for improved productivity and fruit quality in mangoes (Dr Mila Bristow, NTDPIR)
  • Optimising nutrient management for improved productivity and fruit quality in cherries (Dr Nigel Swarts, UTAS)

For more information: 

Marguerite White, science coordinator
P: 0447 500 415