Agri-technology

Funding boost for key farm management tool

[17 May/Rural News] A controversial farm management tool, Overseer, will get $5 million state funding for an upgrade according to the recent budget. Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor, said the Government and the primary sector would work together to boost the science behind the tool. Overseer is a tool that helps measure nutrient use and greenhouse...

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....

Electric fence maker Tru-Test carves off large portion to sell to Swiss company

[7 May/NZ Farmer] Tru-Test has entered into an agreement with a Swedish company, Datamars SA, to sell most of its business. The deal involved the Tru-Test brand, its milk meters business and the functions of their retail solutions division which included its electric fence arm. The two divisions accounted for around 85 percent of its...

Revenue at Waikato Innovation Park soars 28% to $546m

[3 May/NZ Herald] Survey results from the Waikato Innovation Park reinforced the region’s title as New Zealand’s fastest growing tech region with 28 percent growth in the revenue of park tenants. Tenant numbers lifted to 60 from 44 in the previous year. Full-time equivalents working outside the park for its tenants had doubled on the...

Farmlands CEO urges New Zealand to farm smarter, not harder

[4 April] Farmlands Co-operative Chief Executive, Peter Reidie, challenged rural New Zealand to meet demands of a changing consumer base. He said that the model used to drive New Zealand’s farming success in the past wasn’t going to drive success in the future. He added that NZ could not win on scale and low cost...

Progressive Engineering – Refrigeration added to package

[6 April/Rural Life] Progressive Engineering continued to diversify its business by adding refrigeration and home heating services. Managing Director, Chris Hughes, said clients had asked about on-farm refrigeration services, so they delivered. Mr Hughes added that they were backed by the people in the electrical division and that is started with qualified refrigeration engineer Ben...

Intensive beef operation producing more than just good returns

[10 April/NZ Farmer] According to Fritha Tagg, a Far North beef farmer was not afraid to use the latest technology to good advantage. Six generations had farmed the O’Callaghan farm. Technology has turned the marginal land into a first-class beef-producing farm. Rachelle O’Callaghan, who is the sixth generation on the land, said she never thought...

LIC launches Space, the final frontier for livestock improvement

[11 January/ The Country] Livestock Improvement Corporation has announced a giant leap forward for pasture management, a satellite technology called SPACE or Satellite Pasture and Cover Evaluation.  SPACE uses satellite images to measure pasture cover and sends detailed reports to farmers by email, saving farmer’s significant time in checking pasture cover each week.  Such technology...

Farmlands invests in FarmIQ Systems

[6 December/ NZ Herald] Farmlands has taken a stake in farm software company FarmIQ Systems as part of a capital raising round. FarmIQ Systems joined Landcorp Farming, Silver Fern Farms Joint Ventures, and Veterinary Enterprises Group as shareholders in the company that developed and marketed software for farming and agribusiness. FarmIQ Chairman, John Quirk said...

Local tech in $19m ‘win-win’

[9 December/ Otago Daily Times] Research from Sainsbury’s has shown the use of technology developed by Techion Group in Otago could save farmers in its supply chain about $19 million annually. Techion Founder, Greg Mirams said the involvement of the United Kingdom’s second largest supermarket would put his animal parasite diagnostics company on the map....

New app to bring in water-allowance sharing

[24 November/ Radio New Zealand] Farmers and growers in Marlborough would soon have use of an online tool that told them how much water they could use on a given day. The council has been looking at solutions for an increasing strain on water supplies, as demand continues to increase. Marlborough District Council Environment Committee...

Rotorua agri-tech event focuses on digital technologies

[24 November/ NZ Herald] MobileTECH 2018 is one of New Zealand’s largest agri-tech events and would invite technology leaders from throughout the agricultural, horticultural and forestry sectors to discuss themes including artificial intelligence, machine learning and smart data. MobileTECH Programme Manager, Ken Wilson said the event would continue to be a platform for change and...

Mapping the shift to digital farming

[10 November/Rural News] AgResearch is starting a programme investigating the new era of digital agriculture. The goal of the programme is to develop a technology roadmap to support the industry as it transitions to digital agriculture, as well as identify barriers to technology uptake. AgResearch Research Director Greg Murison believed there was a huge potential...

Shaping the future of what we eat and grow through daring innovation

[17 October/Lincoln Hub Media Release] Lincoln Hub is teaming up with the Foundation for Arable Research (FAR), AGMARDT, Callaghan Innovation, Lincoln University and Creative HQ to bring a plant-based innovation hackathon to Christchurch in early December. The event, titled Feed the World 2030: Power of Plants Hackathon, will allow agritech food innovators, scientists, industry experts...

DNA feat could boost star forestry species

[18 October/New Zealand Herald] Crown research institute Scion have completed a draft assembly of the radiata pine’s genetic makeup, or genome, opening the door to a new era of precision forestry for the critically important species. The genome assembly began in 2013 and was completed last month, using the Rotorua-based institute’s newly acquired high-capacity computer...

Huge benefits from precision agriculture – farmers

[19 October/Radio NZ] Hamilton was host this week to an international conference on precision farming. Precision farming is farm management technology used to improve farm performance and efficiency. South Australian Farmer Mark Branson is a big fan of precision farming and said the technology has greatly improved his efficiency in areas such as focusing herbicide...

Small, light robotics to take over big tractors as future for farm machinery

[19 October/Stuff] Big tractors could be over if farmers are to meet tighter environmental goals. Agricultural Robotics Expert Simon Blackmore said that the industry would likely replace large farming machinery with more efficient systems in the future. While this change would be disruptive, it would be worthwhile. He estimated that 90 percent of energy going...

Synthetic foods to have ‘major impact’ within 10 to 15 years – Sir Peter Gluckman

[12 October/ Stuff] The Prime Minister’s Chief Science Adviser, Sir Peter Gluckman, said genetically modified crops presented by synthetic milk and meat is a big threat to New Zealand because of due to the country’s reliance on exports of the real thing. Sir Gluckman said most milk sold globally in 20 to 25 years might...

Sprout innovations company searches for best agricultural startups

[16 October/ Stuff] Agricultural innovations company Sprout is looking New Zealand-wide for up to eight Kiwi agritech start-ups to be accepted into a five-month Sprout Agritech Accelerator programme, giving them access to an over $500,000 pool in grants and investments, as well as mentoring from a team of experts said Sprout Business Strategy Advisor Stu...

Biodegradable miniature sensors a precision solution to agriculture’s variability problem

[17 October/ Stuff] Colorado State University Professor of Precision Agriculture, Raj Khosla says agriculture is embracing precision technology possibilities. Future sensor technology will be small, disposable and will allow farmers collect data to make their businesses more efficient and sustainable. The sensors emitted a small pulse that measured the parameter it was designed for and...

Genetics programme new tool to improve breed

[17 October/New Zealand Herald] Holstein Friesian New Zealand and CRV Ambreed announced their new tool, Holstein Friesian Genetic Leaders Superior Female Programme, to increase the standard of black and white genetics in New Zealand. The programme, launched this October, will find superior registered Holstein Friesian females can produce superior male progeny to be offered to...

Time for farm talk over as agricultural leaders ratchet up market connections

[13 October/ Stuff] New Zealand Primary Industry Executives plan to maximise story-telling opportunities, and heavily endorse New Zealand’s natural assets and charm during the Te Hono Summit at Stanford University in July. Primary Industry Chief Executives have represented the New Zealand companies behind 80 percent of the country’s exports at six summits. New Zealand Merino...

Farm moving into new technology

[12 October/ New Zealand Herald] Waikato Dairy Farmer Grant Coombes said it’s time for farmers to embrace new technology to achieve sustainability. Mr Coombes runs a large-scale operation with 2000 milking cows, plus dairy support and dry stock cattle, over 750 hectares. Mr Coombes, a Dairy New Zealand Board of Directors Candidate, is phasing out...

Future Farm for red meat sector

[9 October/ Rural News Group] Beef and Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) plan to establish a Future Farm to trial new technologies and farm systems. These trials are part of B+LNZ’s strategy to support farming excellence and increase farm productivity and profitability. The farm will be a sheep and beef property with around 6,000 stock units...