Overseer models nutrient flows on a farm, delivering nutrient analyses that show what is coming in and going off the farm – when, how and where. The software uses readily available farm information to predict nutrient losses and greenhouse gas emissions for that farm based on farm management practices. By modelling different scenarios, farmers can make decisions about management approaches that can improve efficiency in their use of nutrients, improve environmental outcomes, and increase profitability.
How does Overseer work?
Overseer uses existing science understanding (built into a series of sub-models) and readily available farm information to predict the flows of nutrients into, around and off the farm - this is most commonly used to understand nitrate leaching and greenhouse gas emissions. You can read more in our Overseer Technical Description.
Who owns Overseer?
The Overseer software is jointly owned in equal shares by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), AgResearch Limited and the Fertiliser Association of New Zealand (FANZ). The owners established an independent company Overseer Limited in April 2016 to ensure the long-term viability of Overseer and meet growing user needs. The company is jointly owned in equal ordinary shares by AgResearch and the Fertiliser Association of New Zealand. The Ministry for Primary Industries has equal voting rights alongside the shareholders. It is therefore considered a Public Entity. Overseer Limited is chaired by one of its two independent Directors and is required to re-invest income into the ongoing improvement of Overseer.
How accurate is Overseer?
Overseer is a modelling tool founded on over 30 years of scientific research. All models are simplifications of complex science, and their predictions will always involve uncertainty. Overseer is no expection. We calibrate Overseer against available real measured data to ensure where those situations exist, there is greater certainty in the results. We also peer review and test the science model so that we are confident that it is doing what we think it should. Good quality farm data is essential to good quality Overseer predictions (rubbish in equals rubbish out) and so we have created the Best Practice Data Input Standards to ensure users are guided in identifying the best source of data when using Overseer.
Why does the model use long term averages?
Actual leaching from a farm block will vary, sometimes quite significantly, year-on-year due to variations in weather. Because Overseer was designed to help farmers test the impact of different farm management practices, it removes short term variability (such as weather events) so farmers can make good decisions for the long-term. The model therefore estimates how much nutrient leaching or gas emissions are likely to occur in a typical year if the management system described remains in place. It is not a one-off prediction for a single year. You can read more about this in the Technical Guidance document. The Overseer results are therefore best used to create a baseline for each farm, and to guide and measure improvement over time.
Can Overseer predict what’s happening in a particular waterway?
Overseer looks at what is happening on a farm, and the modelling stops at the farm boundary. The tool estimates what nutrients are lost beyond where plants can access it in the soil profile (60cm for pasture, 120cm for crops). Overseer can only help understand what’s happening in local waterways by feeeding information about whats leaching from farmland into catchment models.
What is the user portal?
The Overseer user portal is a page where users access the tool’s applications and engage with us about using it. It includes:
A dashboard for important notices and updates
A support page with a search engine for users to look up common questions
A helpdesk to contact technical support
The user guides and best practice data standards
Science model information including version update release notes and details about the model engine.
What help is available when using Overseer?
Overseer helpdesk is available for any questions that are not listed on the support page. You can log your request through the user portal or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note, we do not provide an advice service. We aim to respond to emails within 24 hours, unless it is a weekend or public holiday.
What computer equipment do I need when using Overseer?
OverseerFM is an online application, so you can use it from any computer with internet access. Requirements for the legacy OVERSEER Nutrient Budgets standalone application are listed on our support page.
Can I get training to use Overseer?
Comprehensive training for regular users of Overseer is available through the sustainable nutrient management courses provided by the Fertiliser and Lime Research Centre. These courses use Overseer to illustrate principles in nutrient management. Massey University, Lincoln University and Waikato University include Overseer as a part of their undergraduate agricultural degree courses. The industry has established a Nutrient Management Adviser Certification Programme (NMACP), in response to the growing need for sound advice on nutrient management, including producing Overseer nutrient budgets and scenarios. This programme certifies individual advisers, using a transparent set of industry standards. You can find out more on the NMACP website.
Is Overseer free to use?
OverseerFM is free to use until January 2019, and will then be available on a subscription basis. This will ensure sustainable, ongoing investment in and development of Overseer. Our founding principles around public good and increasing value for New Zealand will underpin our charging policies. The legacy OVERSEER Nutrient Budgets also remains free to use for the remaining time it is available.
Starting out with OverseerFM
How can I use OverseerFM?
To use OverseerFM, simply register at fm.overseer.org.nz. All users will need to register first, including previous users of the legacy OVERSEER Online. You can read more about this in our information sheet registering for OverseerFM
Can I use the existing data file that was created in the legacy OVERSEER Nutrient Budgets?
Users can upload XML farm files from the legacy OVERSEER into an OverseerFM farm account, provided they were created (or have been updated to) version 6.2.3 or version 6.3.0. Farm information from earlier versions of OVERSEER are not supported in OverseerFM.
How is data stored in OverseerFM?
OverseerFM farm account information will be stored in a central database. This was set up in response to concerns that there was significant duplication of effort within the industry as different parties modelled the same farm separately. The centralised data storage will also deliver greater auditability of analysis for quality assurance, and provide an easy transition between model updates.
Who can access the data?
Once a farm account owner (farmer or farm manager) is registered, the farm account owner decides who should have access to their farm information. The farm account administrator can also grant and revoke permissions to information, and the farm account owner can control administrator access. The Year-End analysis (which models historic management practices for baselining, monitoring and reporting) are available to all parties with permission to access a farm account. Predictive and scenario analysis are private to the business developing them.
Can I save OverseerFM information on my computer or elsewhere?
All OverseerFM data is stored in a database on a secure server. A farm account owner can share access to their farm account information held in this central database by giving permission to other registered users. It is possible to update farm account information offline, however an internet connection is required for the model to run.
Will information be shared with councils in the same way as it is now?
No. In the past, farm information has been emailed to the council as an XML file. OverseerFM allows users to publish a specific analysis to the council for them to review via OverseerFM. This provides a secure and auditable process for providing councils with the information that they need to implement their plans.
Using the legacy OVERSEER Nutrient Budgets
Can I continue to use the legacy OVERSEER Nutrient Budgets software?
The legacy OVERSEER Nutrient Budgets software will be available during a transition period online and as a standalone product, but it will be phased out in the first half of 2019. Go to https://secure.overseer.org.nz/live/
Overseer supports farmers to improve nutrient use on farms, delivering better environmental outcomes and more value for farms.
In these terms: Analysis means a Year End Analysis or a Scenario or Predictive Analysis. Farm Account means an account in Overseer that represents a single notional farming operation to be modelled. Farm Account Data means any information held in Overseer and associated with a Farm Account. Farm Account Administrator means an Organisation that has administration privileges to a Farm Account, but is not the Farm Account Owner. Farm Account Owner means an Organisation designated in Overseer as a “Farm Account Owner” for a particular Farm Account. Input Data means any information or material that a Registered User uploads or enters into Overseer. Organisation means an individual or user group designated in Overseer as an “Organisation”. Organisation Administrator means the Registered User(s) with privileges to invite and remove other Registered Users to/from an Organisation. Representative of an entity, means any director, officer, employee, agent or other representative of that entity. Registered User means an individual with a User Profile in Overseer. Scenario or Predictive Analysis means the prospective analyses and associated data produced or stored in Overseer, intended to represent one or more hypothetical future states of part or all of the farming operation being modelled in a given Farm Account. User Profile means an individual user profile in Overseer. Year End Analysis means a retrospective analysis and associated data produced or stored in Overseer, intended to represent the quasi-equilibrium actual state of part or all of the farming operation being modelled in a given Farm Account.
3. Registering with us
Registering with Overseer creates a User Profile. You promise that all information you provide when registering or updating your User Profile will be true, accurate and correct. You must not use Overseer if you are an individual under the age of 18. If you are under the age of 18 and have a legitimate reason to use Overseer, please contact our helpdesk at email@example.com. You are responsible for protecting your passwords and other private user credentials and for any usage of your user credentials. You must notify us immediately on becoming aware of any actual or suspected unauthorised use of your user credentials
4. Using a Farm Account
A Farm Account represents a notional farming operation to be modelled in Overseer. To create a Farm Account, you will need to nominate a Farm Account Owner. A Farm Account Owner represents the farming operation being modelled. Each Farm Account must be used to model only a single farming operation. This may include the modelling of adjacent or additional land to the extent that it is relevant to nutrient and/or greenhouse gas modelling for that farming operation.
b) Access to a Farm Account
Your access to a Farm Account in Overseer is based on the Organisation your User Profile is associated with. An Organisation Administrator may invite users to join their Organisation. A Registered User accepting an invitation to join an Organisation will move from its current Organisation to the new Organisation. Farm Account Owners can grant or revoke access for Organisations to the Farm Account. Farm Account Administrators can grant access for Organisations to the Farm Account and revoke any access they have granted previously. These specific Farm Account Owner and Farm Account Administrator actions are available only to administrative users within the relevant Farm Account Owner and Farm Account Administrator Organisation. When an Organisation is granted access to a Farm Account, all Registered Users within that Organisation will have access to the Farm Account and be able to create Analyses and view, download, edit or remove any Analyses shared with that Farm Account. If you are granted access to a Farm Account by a Farm Account Owner or Farm Account Administrator, you accept their control of the Farm Account as outlined above.
c) If you are a Farm Account Owner
A Farm Account Owner can remove themselves from the Farm Account. If you do this, you acknowledge you will cease to have any rights in relation to the Farm Account. A Farm Account Owner can add or remove other Organisations as Farm Account Administrators. If you do this, keep in mind they will be able to grant access for other Organisations to the Farm Account as outlined in these terms. A Farm Account Owner can assign other Organisations as additional Farm Account Owners. If you do this, keep in mind they will be able to grant and revoke access for other Organisations to the Farm Account as outlined in these terms, and they will be able to remove other Farm Account Owners. These specific Farm Account Owner actions are available only to the Farm Account Owner.
Year End Analyses are available to all Organisations who have access to the Farm Account. If you create a Scenario or Predictive Analyses, by default it is shared with your Organisation. You can share private Scenario or Predictive Analysis with the Farm Account Owner, or with all Organisations who have access to the Farm Account. If you publish an Analysis to an Organisation (including Regional Councils), a copy of that Analysis information is made available to that Organisation to view and download. You cannot change, reverse or withdraw that copy once published. Analyses are created by Registered Users for their own use. Unless otherwise agreed in writing, we accept no responsibility for any use of, or reliance on any Analysis by any other person. We will not be liable on any basis for any loss, damage or expense arising from that use or reliance.
e) Farm Account Data
5. Input Data
a) Your obligations
Where you enter or upload Input Data you promise that: * the Input Data does not infringe any third party intellectual property rights * the Input Data complies with all applicable laws * you have all the authorisations needed for you to upload the Input Data, and * we do not need to obtain any further licence, right or permission from a third party to deal with the Input Data as permitted by these terms. Where another Registered User uploads personal information about you into Overseer, you acknowledge that although the information is stored by in our systems, it is held by and under the control of that Registered User and/or the relevant Farm Account Owner. If you wish to exercise your rights to access personal information that we hold about you under the Privacy Act 1993 you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
b) Our use of Input Data
Subject to section 4 you retain any and all rights that you may have to Input Data uploaded to Overseer, and any new intellectual property rights created through your preparation of Analyses. You give us, our contractors and agents permission to store and process all Input Data and Analyses as required for the purposes of operating, maintaining and improving Overseer. We will not share your Input Data or Analyses with anyone else without your approval, although it may be shared through the permissions granted in accordance with section 4. We may aggregate Input Data and/or Analyses with other data, and use and share the results with third parties for any purpose we choose, but only where the data is aggregated to the point where we are satisfied, acting reasonably, that it does not reveal any information about an individual farm identifiable from that data, or where the recipient already has access to the underlying data in accordance with section 4. We may choose to delete or block Input Data at any time where we consider it necessary to comply with law, or to protect ourselves or others from harm or loss. We may also disclose Input Data to others where we reasonably consider it necessary to comply with law. Our rights under this heading will continue indefinitely.
6. Pricing and payment
a) Farm Account subscription
Every Farm Account requires a subscription to produce Analysis results. You can check the Overseer website for subscription pricing and payment details. Payments for subscriptions must be made in line with our published pricing and payment details. Unless stated otherwise, our pricing is in New Zealand dollars. If the subscription fee for a Farm Account is not paid when due, the Farm Account subscription will not renew, and the Farm Account will no longer produce Analysis results. The subscription can be reinstated by payment of the then-current subscription fee.
b) Changes to pricing and payment
We may change pricing and payment details from time to time. This will not affect any subscription period that has already been pre-paid at the time of the change. We will notify the change at least 30 days in advance, by posting a notice on the Overseer website. 7. Your use of Overseer a) Restrictions on using Overseer You must not use Overseer in a way that infringes intellectual property, defames someone, breaks the law, or violates the privacy or other rights of any person. You must not use Overseer to:
upload, transmit, or distribute any malware or spyware
interfere with or disrupt any servers or networks connected to Overseer
attempt to gain unauthorised access to Overseer or any Farm Account
misrepresent yourself as another person or entity
misrepresent yourself as having authority from another person or entity, or having greater authority than you have actually been given, or
do anything that would expose us to any liability or cause us to be in breach of any law or regulation of New Zealand or any other jurisdiction.
Unless we specifically agree otherwise in writing, you must not say or do anything that may lead others to believe that you are endorsed by or associated with us.
b) Access limitations
We may restrict or revoke your access to Overseer at any time, with or without giving you notice, if you breach these terms and we reasonably consider that the breach (alone or together with any past breaches) exposes us to a cost or risk of some kind, or may have a negative impact on us or our products, services or systems. We can also restrict or revoke your access to Overseer at any time if required by law. We will reinstate your access once we are reasonably satisfied that the grounds for the restriction or revocation have been remedied and are unlikely to reoccur.
8. Intellectual property rights
We and our third party licensors own all intellectual property rights in Overseer, including all components of the website, and all content made available through Overseer from time to time, subject to section 5. You may use Overseer as made available by us from time to time, subject to these terms. This does not give you any rights in the website, or any of its components or content, and you must not copy, modify, adapt, reproduce or republish any of them. Where you provide us with feedback or suggestions about Overseer, you promise us that this information is not confidential to you or any other person, and you agree that we can use it as we see fit, without any obligation to you.
9. Qualifications and exclusions
a) Third party components
We may identify particular content or functionality as being provided by a third party provider. We are passing-on that content and functionality, and unless stated otherwise, we are not responsible for its accuracy or completeness. We are not responsible for any use or reliance placed on that third party content and functionality by you or any third parties.
b) S-map soils data
Overseer incorporates S-map soils data, licensed from Landcare Research New Zealand Limited (also known as Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research). You must not extract or copy in bulk any S-map soils data provided through Overseer. You may only use S-map soils data for purposes that relate directly to Overseer. Use of S-map soil data for any other purpose without the prior written consent of Landcare Research New Zealand Limited is prohibited.
c) Google Maps
d) Interruptions and errors
Like any online service, we cannot guarantee that Overseer will be uninterrupted or error free. It is up to you to take any precautions necessary to ensure you do not incur losses or costs in the event that Overseer is affected by an interruption or error. We are not liable for any loss or corruption of data. We will use reasonable skill and care in our development and operation of Overseer. To the extent permitted by law, we exclude all other express and implied warranties and representations.
e) Input Data
We do not review or control Input Data for accuracy or completeness. You are responsible for any use or reliance placed on Input Data by you and any third parties.
f) Changes to Overseer
We can modify, suspend or discontinue all or part of Overseer at any time, with or without notice. However, we will give you at least 90 days’ notice before implementing any change that substantially reduces the functionality of Overseer, other than temporary changes required for maintenance or upgrade activity.
10. Indemnity and liability
a) You may be required to indemnify us
As far as permitted by law, and without limiting any other rights we may have under these terms or at law, you agree to indemnify us against all costs, losses, expenses and liabilities that we suffer or reasonably incur in connection with any third party claim made or brought against us, where the claim is wholly or partly attributable to your breach of these terms. However, you will not be liable to the extent that we have caused or contributed to such losses through our own negligence, breach of these terms or unlawful conduct.
b) You may need to pay for litigation costs
Where we are required to give evidence or otherwise be involved in any proceedings relating to a dispute between you and any third party relating to a Farm Account, you must pay our reasonable costs, except to the extent that we have caused or contributed to those costs through our own negligence, breach of these terms or unlawful conduct.
c) Limitations on our liability
As far as permitted by law, we are not liable to you for any loss of profits, loss of opportunity, loss of business or loss of contract, or any indirect or consequential loss, or any exemplary, incidental, special or punitive damages, arising from or in connection with Overseer or these terms. In any case, our total liability for any loss or damage you suffer in connection with Overseer or these terms, from all events occurring in any 12 month period, will not in any circumstance exceed the standard annual subscription payable for a Farm Account during that 12 month period. If the standard annual subscription changed during that period, the highest standard annual subscription price will be used. The limitations and exclusions above apply to all liability (including for negligence), regardless of the legal basis of the claim. The limitations and exclusions above also apply for the benefit of Landcare Research New Zealand Limited as the provider of the S-map soils data to Overseer.
11. Consumer Guarantees Act and Fair Trading Act
12. Other matters
a requirement not to do something includes a requirement not to encourage, authorise or cause that thing to be done
a reference to an enactment or any regulations is a reference to that enactment or those regulations as amended, or to any enactment or regulations substituted for that enactment or those regulations.
Last updated on 18-May-2018.
If you’re a user who enters or uploads information about others to Overseer, you must comply with your privacy law obligations to them. If you have a query concerning information about you that another user has entered or uploaded to Overseer, you can contact the user or us.
What we collect
We collect personal information from you:
when you register as an Overseer user
when you are using Overseer and enter or upload information
as you use the Overseer website, in the form of statistics about how you use the website.
Why we collect it, and what we use it for
We collect and use your personal information for various purposes such as:
to set up your profile to use Overseer
to provide our services including third party integrated services
to develop our understanding of our users’ preferences and interests in Overseer
to assist us resolve technical support issues or other issues relating to Overseer as they arise
for our internal research, development and optimisation of Overseer
to let you know about surveys, our promotions and any marketing activities we may undertake from time to time (you may opt out at any time)
to comply with laws both in New Zealand and overseas, where they apply, and
If you don’t provide the information we ask for, this may mean you are unable to use Overseer.
Sharing your personal information
We may provide your personal information to our employees, contractors, advisors, agents and third-party service providers, where we believe this is appropriate to help us with any of the purposes we have outlined above. We will take reasonable steps to ensure that those recipients do not use that personal information for any other purpose.
We may release personal information when we believe this is appropriate for legal compliance and law enforcement (including to government agencies with statutory law enforcement responsibilities).
We can release personal information to third parties as instructed by you and in other ways permitted by the Privacy Act.
How we store your personal information
Your personal information will be stored in accordance with our obligations under the Privacy Act and we will take reasonable steps to ensure the security of your personal information.
Your personal information may be stored on servers in Australia owned by our computing infrastructure service provider (currently Amazon Web Services) under an account that we control.
Right to access your personal information
Where we receive information about others from you
If you provide us with personal information about someone else, you must ensure that you are authorised to disclose that information to us, so that, without us taking any further steps
required by applicable data protection or privacy laws, we may collect, use and disclose such information for the purposes we have described in this policy.
This means you must take reasonable steps when providing personal information so that the individual concerned is aware of and/or consents to this policy, including that:
their personal information is being collected
the purposes for which that information is being collected
the intended recipients of that information
the individual's right to obtain access to that information
our identity, and how to contact us.
Cookies may be used for security to help us identify you, to provide you with personalised features and for tracking traffic on our site. Any information we collect and share with third parties through cookies is aggregated and therefore anonymous (when shared with third parties, it does not include personal information which is likely to identify you).
You can prevent new cookies from being installed and delete existing cookies. The procedure depends on which browser you are using. For information on how to remove cookies check your internet browser. You may be unable to use Overseer unless you accept cookies.
To improve our website and services we may use patterns and other meaningful information gathered from website analytics tools. This may include the timing and frequency of your use of the Overseer website, your IP address, page requests, form requests, mouse click activity and other information that you voluntarily enter into the website.