Palmerston North company's automatic cow feeder at Central District Field Days

Palmerston North company’s automatic cow feeder at Central District Field Days

[11 March/Stuff NZ] Zeddy, a company producing an automatic supplementary feeder will be selling their product in Fielding at the Central District Field Days. The feeder scans a cow’s ear tag and then dispenses a tailor made diet. Feeders have been designed, trialled and manufactured in less than three years...
As labour shortage bites, app aims to hook growers up with workers

As labour shortage bites, app aims to hook growers up with workers

[13 March/Stuff NZ] Genevieve Griffin-George, a Tasman Entrepreneur and Founder of PICMI, a cloud-based software, is helping horticulturalists find workers in the current shortage. PICMI has been designed to simplify the employment process for agricultural seasonal staff and was developed last year as part of the Xcelerate programme. The idea...
Swine disease expected to boost Chinese beef imports

Swine disease expected to boost Chinese beef imports

[08 March/Rural Life] Spread of the African Swine disease in China has increased measures at its borders. The spread of the severe viral disease is meant to offer increased export opportunities for beef exporters like New Zealand. Rabobank released a report stating the disease has potential to substantially shift the...
Improve NAIT reporting or face consequences

Improve NAIT reporting or face consequences

[11 March/Rural News] OSPRI warns that the NAIT accounts of farmers will have a closer watch on them, along with NAIT users who choose not to record or confirm their livestock movements. Kevin Forward, Head of NAIT reports that they are currently reconciling historical issues with farmers where movement records...
First-year student discusses future of food with industry’s best

First-year student discusses future of food with industry’s best

[12 March/Massey University] Fatima Imran, a first year completing a Bachelor of AgriCommerce at Massey University will join a panel to discuss the future of food production in New Zealand with industry leaders. AgResearch Future Feeders is a headline event of New Zealand AgriFood Week. Fatima Imran says she is...
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Fonterra keen for a slice of a2

[11 March/Rural News] The a2 Milk Company and Fonterra Co-operative Group are continuing to partner as new commercial opportunities come to existence. Jayne Hrdlicka, Managing Director and Chief Executive of a2 Milk states the company has significant future growth plans, with the first step focusing on building the milk pool growth in Australia and New...

130,000 bees go under the microscope

[11 March/Rural News] Sampling has been completed for Biosecurity New Zealand’s Bee Pathogen Programme which involved more than 60 beekeepers and took two and a half years to complete. The study is the largest and most detailed one ever undertaken in New Zealand, involving hives being tested every six months. Dr Richard Hall, Senior Scientist...

Beekeepers turn down proposal for commodity levy

[07 March/Radio NZ] Over 75 percent of commercial beekeepers voted against a levy from Apiculture New Zealand (ApiNZ). The levy is asking for all 1734 beekeepers in New Zealand with 26 hives or more to pay a levy of 10 cents on each kilogramme of honey. ApiNZ reported that most other primary sector industries have...

Autumn heatwave welcomed by Waikato grape grower

[07 March/Stuff NZ] Waikato’s largest winemaker Vilagrad has welcomed the Autumn heatwave, with their vines receiving more hours of sunshine and intense flavours developed in the grapes. According to Winemaker Jacob Nooyen, hot dry days and cold nights have resulted in the vineyard starting its harvest two weeks early. Hot days increase sugars in the...

Lack of Kiwi workers a problem

[13 March/Rural Life] Young New Zealanders are slow in coming forward to work for the dairy industry. Ads Hendriks, Federated Farmers Spokesperson for South Canterbury reported that after recently posted a job position, only one of nine candidates was a New Zealander, with the one New Zealander being unreliable. Mr Hendriks said he was always...

Canterbury shepherd a history-maker as Young Farmer of the Year grand finalist

[07 March/Stuff NZ] Georgie Lindsay, a 23 year old North Canterbury shepherd is the first female from the Tasman region to have ever made it to the grand final of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year. Georgie Lindsay, won the Tasman regional final against seven other contestants and is one of only five woman...

Humble native’s anti-microbial properties could be a new tool in improving waterways

[11 March/Stuff NZ] The mānuka plant could soon be used in improving New Zealand’s freshwater quality. ESR, Waikato Regional Council and local iwi are 18 months into a five year study on the tree to figure out its ability to filter out freshwater-harming nutrients and pathogens. The trial site is on the shores of Lake...

A ‘substantial’ increase: EIT to invest €56.4m in sustainable food chain initiatives

[08 March/Food Navigator] The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) will invest €56.4 million (approx. $108 million NZD) in projects that aim to ‘transform’ the agri-food system in 2019. This is a 44 percent year-on-year increase. EIT Food has six strategic objectives which guide its response to environmental, demographic and health challenges facing humans...

Mondelez’s SnackFutures innovation hub invests in prebiotic Uplift Food

[08 March/FoodDive] Mondelez announced last week that UpLift food is its first minority investment for its new innovation and venture hub SnackFutures. Brigette Wolf, Global Head of SnackFutures reported they were drawn to Uplift because it’s working to disrupt the industry by focusing on consumer needs. SnackFutures aim is to cultivate and develop the future...

AgriFood Tech in 2018: $17bn in Funding as Biotech, Robotics, Mega Asian Deals & Record Exit Create Breakout Year

[07 March/AgFunder News] AgriFood Tech start-ups raised $16.9 billion in 2018, a 43% increase year-over-year growth, according to AgFunder’s latest investing report. Deal activity also increased by 11 percent. A few factors contributed to the increase, including maturation of ventures. It wasn’t just start-ups developing technologies at the consumer end of the supply chain that...

General Mills to implement regenerative agriculture on 1M acres

[06 March/FoodDive] General Mills have committed to using regenerative agriculture methods across one million acres of land by 2030. They are partnering with farmers, suppliers and farm advisors in key growing regions to increase adoption of more sustainable methods of farming. General Mills is also giving US$650,000 to Kiss the Ground, a non-profit organisation advocating...

Macadamia nuts double in price as growers struggle to keep up with demand

[11 March/ABC News] The Australian Macadamia Society said the price of the macadamia nut had doubled in the last 10 years, from $25 per kilogram to about $50 per kilogram. Lynne Ziehlke Market Development Manager reported that this increase in price is due to growers getting paid more and the rarity of the product.  Despite...

$400k given to Massey for innovation

[08 March/Rural News Group] A new ‘Rural Innovation Lab’ at Massey’s Palmerston North campus will be granted $400,000 by the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF). The laboratory will help give farmers and growers in the Manawatu-Whanganui area to think afresh, particularly around digital farming and improving land-use according to Fletcher Tabuteau, the Under-secretary for regional economic...

Meat company targets $134 billion global pet food market

[12 March/Stuff NZ] Alliance Group, an export meat company, has invested in a pet food business. David Surveyor, Chief Executive of Alliance Group reports that this investment coincides with major growth in the industry as animal lovers are seeking high quality protein food for their pets. The global sales forecast is set to reach up...

Strong market for lamb expected

[11 March/The Country] Good demand is continuing to occur from the United States and China, contributing to predictions a second season of healthy global lamb prices. Nathan Penny, ASB Senior Rural Economist reported that prices are now bottoming out although at around $7 which is a healthy level, after hitting record highs last spring. Looking...

Angus Pure plans to improve on-plate eating experience

[06 March/Rural Life] AngusPure New Zealand announced this week that they are partnering with 63 Angus beef farmers in a programme to improve the quality and taste of their meat as well as increasing returns. AngusPure is the official beef brand of Angus New Zealand with 50 percent owned by the industry’s association with the...

Oyster shortage: Big demand for ‘Bluffies’ sends prices skyrocketing

[08 March/The Country] Oyster license holders for the Foveaux Strait have agreed to limit their catch to 7.5 million oysters, half of the regulated total allowable catch of 15 million. This limit has increased the price of the famous wild oysters. The season opened on 1 March but has only properly started recently due to...

Exotic insect found in New Zealand, biosecurity risk being assessed

[08 March/The Country] A larva of the poplar sawfly has been found in a trap in Abbotsford, Dunedin by Biosecurity New Zealand. Biosecurity New Zealand have found an established population of the poplar sawfly is in the area and are trying to discover how far it has spread. They are urging the public to come...

Battle against monster wasp nest in Hamurana, Rotorua enters day five

[08 March/The Country] A monster wasp nest in Hamurana, Rotorua entered into its fifth day of extermination. The 2 metre by 2 metre nest is from German waspsc and have a particularly aggressive species of wasps. The nest has been administered with three doses of poison. Chris Brunel, Owner and Operator of Bay Pest Services...

Robotic shearing study to use 3D printed sheep

[11 March/The Country] A full-size merino sheep is to be used in a scoping study into robotic sheep shearing. The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) has opened Australia’s most advanced 3D printing facility. ProtoSpace was launched to help grow advanced manufacturing in Australia by providing access to high-end equipment and expertise in 3D printing technology...

Manawatū’s AgTech Hackathon returns for 2019 Central Districts Field Days

[12 March/Stuff NZ] The annual Manawatū AgTech Hackathon is back as part of the Central Districts Field Days in Fielding this week. Engineers, farmers and IT professionals attempt to find solutions for agricultures greatest issues. Last year, Mitchell Coleman won the competition resulting in a job at Levno from his project creating a project focused...

Marlborough vineyards scare birds with drones

[08 March/Stuff NZ] Drones are being used in Marlborough vineyards in order to scare away birds. Many methods have been used as an attempt to scare away birds preventing vineyard damage in the past, with varying levels of success but drones are now being used to target particular spots that birds tend to attack. Berakah...

$1m injected in semen processing centre

[08 March/Rural News] LIC co-operative re-opened its semen process centre in Manawatu this week, after spending over $1 million to revamp it. The co-operative is the country’s largest supplier of artificial breeding services and dairy genetics. The renovations enable LIC to enhance its export capabilities as well as use the centre as a back-up to...

NZ farmers could grow coffee, pineapples as the planet warms

[07 March/Stuff NZ] New Zealand’s tropical fruit are becoming more popular to grow. New Zealand eat 18kg per capita or around $140 million worth of bananas a year. Hugh Rose, head of Tropical Fruit Growers of NZ has a 40ha property on Northland’s east coast, growing a variety of tropical fruits including bananas, pineapples, dragon...