Author Archive

Stuff Decision Bad for Primary Industries

[18 May/NZ Guild of Agricultural Journalists & Communicators] Stuff recently decided to close its nationwide portfolio of farming publications. It was bad news for staff affected, the primary industries and the public according to President of the New Zealand Guild of Agricultural Journalists, Elaine Fisher. She said the closure affects the jobs of 12 of...

Sheep and beef farmers aim to be carbon neutral by 2050

[16 May/Stuff] Every sheep and beef farm will have a tailored environment plan by the end of 2021 and the industry is aiming to be carbon neutral by 2050 with the new Beef + Lamb NZ strategy. Its priority areas were healthy productive soils, thriving biodiversity, reducing carbon emissions and cleaner water. Farm plans would...

Largest boost to DOC since 2002 leaves Green Party smiling

[17 May/Stuff] The Department of Conservation will receive a $181.6 million funding boost over four years. The funds will largely go towards predator control and biodiversity initiatives, and also maintaining parks and paths. $81.6 of the funding is for landscape-predator control which enables DOC to undertake sustained control over 1.8 million hectares. Conservation Minister, Eugenie...

Horticulture industry scores another record breaking year

[16 May/Rural News] The New Zealand horticulture industry had a record breaking year in 2017 with exports reaching $5.12 billion. The industry value was up $100 million from last year at $8.8 billion. According to Plant and Food Research horticulture produce accounted for 10.3 percent of New Zealand’s export income. The growth was primarily driven...

Hui on animal welfare

[15 May/Rural News] An all-day hui has been called to discuss priorities of the country’s animal welfare groups by the Associate Minister of Agriculture, Meka Whaitiri. The hui aimed to follow up on a promise not to ban rodeos. Ms Whaitiri said she wanted to hear the views and priorities of the country’s animal advocates...

Thousand tonnes of dead fish poses problem for King Salmon

[15 May/Radio NZ] New Zealand King Salmon is seeking a government grant of $116,000 from the Waste Minimisation Fund to help devise economically valuable ways to deal with thousands of tonnes of dead fish and fish faeces. Mortalities are collected daily and transferred via road from Picton to Havelock North to the landfill in Blenheim....

Carter steps down early as NZ Pork chairman

[15 May/The Country] New Zealand Pork Chairman, Ian Carter, has stepped down before the end of his tenure and said the direction some in the industry wanted to take was not one he felt comfortable steering. He added the job was initially very satisfying but the world had changed dramatically and the need to understand...

Confidence drives deer farmers

[14 May/Farmers Weekly] Confidence was driving the rebuild of New Zealand’s deer herd after one of the industry’s best seasons ever. Existing deer blocks were being expanded and subdivided to run more stock, feeding systems were being upgraded and more weaners were being kept for breeding. The South Island venison price was $11 per kilogram...

Hop grower cluster is expanding

[14 May/Farmers Weekly] New Zealand’s hop growers were expanding to cater for craft beer demand. Growers were making large investments in new plantings and facilities according to NZ Hops. NZ Hops Chief Executive, Doug Donelan, said wind and heat dominated the growing season before harvesting started in mid-February. It meant growers produced a much lighter...

Bank teams up with young farmers

[11 May/Rural News] Heartland Bank has teamed up with NZ Young Farmers to support young people at the forefront of the rural industry. The agri-food sector was a vital part of New Zealand’s economy and needed young people to fuel it in the future, according to the bank. Head of Rural at Heartland Bank, Chris...

Shortage-stricken growers to reap fruits of new tech

[11 May/Radio NZ] Labour shortages in orchards could be a thing of the past with robotic machines picking up the work. The robotic apple packers will be released commercially later in the month. Robotic Plus Chief Technology Officer, Alistair Scarfe, said there was no reason robotics could not be developed for horticulture such as kiwifruit....

Fert tax coming?

[14 May/Farmers Weekly] Environment Minister, David Parker, appeared to want regional councils to implement plans to improve water quality sooner than is being achieved, according to Local Government New Zealand regional sector chairman, Dough Leeder. Mr Parker indicated he would shorten deadlines. Ecologist and Consultant, Alison Dewes, said given the complexity of the issues on...

Resurrection of New Zealand Forestry Service in Rotorua celebrated

[11 May/The Country] Rotorua will get its share of more than 300 jobs expected to come from the resurrection of Te Uru Rakau. It will be a New Zealand Forestry Service based in Rotorua, according to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. She said it was the place for agency and that was where it belonged. She...

National organic standard consultation underway

[15 May/Rural News] Organics Aotearoa Chairman, Doug Voss, urged members and the organic community at large to participate consultation process launched by the Ministry of Primary Industries to support a proposal for a national organic standard. Agriculture and Food Safety Minister, Damien O’Connor, said in New Zealand there was a range of voluntary standards that...

First case of cattle disease in North Canterbury found

[9 May/Radio NZ] Mycoplasma bovis was found on a North Canterbury farm, which brought the total number of properties with the disease up to 36. Ministry for Primary Industries Spokesperson, Catherine Duthie, said it was identified through the tracing of animals from known infected farms. She added it did not mean the disease was spreading,...

Online platform for selling wool to launch this month

[9 May/Radio NZ] Later this month, the Natural Fibre Exchange will go live and be a means of buying and selling wool. It was set up by Wools of New Zealand, Alliance Group and CRA International. Wool New Zealand Chief Executive, Rosstan Mazey, said he hoped the market would appeal to people who bought wool...

China trade agreement upgrade to reflect modern trading relationship: PM

[14 May/Stuff] Foreign Affairs Minister, Winston Peters, will go to China to talk trade at a critical time. Mr Peters said the objective was to extend their relationship and a range of issues would be up for discussion. He added that China had a growing influence on the Pacific region and that New Zealand needed...

Trump’s Iran threat ‘pretty concerning’ for NZ exporters

[9 May/Radio NZ] New Zealand exports who send goods to Iran might be affected by President Trump’s threat to sanction countries who trade with the Middle Eastern nation. New Zealand exported $120 million of goods to Iran last year, with dairy products making up three quarters of this. Export NZ Executive Director, Catherine Beard, said...

Tesco to launch plant-based steak

[14 May/EuroFruit] A plant based steak will be launched at Tesco to capitalise on growing demand for healthy, sustainable food. The product is produced by Dutch plant-based food specialist, Vivera, and is made with ingredients including wheat and soy. It will be stocked at 400 Tesco stores in the UK from May 21. With more...

Growing pains: Vertical agriculture stunted by rising real estate, energy and labor costs

[11 May/Food Dive] A growing number of start-ups in the U.S. and around the world were raising produce inside buildings to reduce water use and transportation costs. These growers were finding real estate, energy and labour costs to be high, according to an Associated Press story in Food Manufacturing. Once all inputs are in place,...

WHO calls for trans-fat to be eliminated within 5 years

[15 May/CNBC] The World Health Organisation has said the world could eliminate industrially-produced trans fats by 2023 while unveiling a plan to prevent 500,000 deaths a year from cardiovascular disease. Trans-fats are popular in fried, baked and snack foods as they have a long shelf life. WHO data indicates they increase heart disease risk by...

Technology uses condensation and renewable energy to irrigate crops

[15 May/ABC News] An irrigation system called Irrigation By Condensation that grows crops using renewable energy and air humidity has been developed by Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies. Co-founder, Boaz Wachtel, said he was aware of the struggle farmers faced with water scarcity, and was always interested in developing new technologies for farmers. The system has...

Romaine-linked E. coli outbreak continues to spread, but its origins remain unknown

[11 May/Food Dive] The E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce from Arizona has sickened 149 people across America. The CDC said the illnesses emerged between March 13 and April 25. Six incidents were also reported in Canada. In contrast, a 2006 outbreak linked to bagged spinach killed three people and caused 199 to become...

Where next for plant-based seafood? New Wave Food starts with shrimp

[10 May/Food Navigator] The plant-based seafood industry has grown since New Wave Foods entered the scene in 2015. New Wave Co-Founder, Dominique Barnes, said a degree in marine biodiversity and conservation armed her with a keen sense about the problem New Wave was trying to solve. She added they targeted shrimp as it was the...