Agri-technology

Business using blockchain, invisible ink to protect manuka honey

[17 April/Stuff NZ]   Jars of manuka honey are being marked with invisible ink and tracked with block chain technology in an effort to keep counterfeit products off the market. Manuka honey has become such a precious commodity forcing producers to implement high-tech methods to prevent imitation. Midlands Apiaries, has introduced this technology on its...

Federated Farmers: Greens won’t even talk about genetic engineering potential

[30 April/The Country] Federated Farmers are disappointed that the greens will not even consider genetic engineering as a solution to some of the country’s most pressing environmental issues. An example of an issues that would benefit is methane emissions from cattle which could benefit from gene-editing. The Greens have stated that they will not even...

Global shift to managing sheep individually

[26 April/The Country] Jon Hickford, Professor in Animal Breeding and Genetics at Lincoln University has reported that there is a global shift to managing sheep at an individual level rather than a flock level. Professor Hickford stated that permanent EID tags and scanner technology has allowed the recording of an individual animal’s performance and production...

Jersey New Zealand conference to have virtual auction

[20 April/NZ Herald] A virtual auction, called Jersey New Zealand’s Jersey Pride auction, will take place at Forsyth Barr Stadium next month for 20 elite jersey cattle via PowerPoint presentations. Jersey New Zealand general manager Pam Goodin reported that the breed society was holding its annual conference and meeting at the Scenic Circle Southern Cross...

Tags keep track of stock

[17 April/Farmers Weekly] Queensland-based company MOOvement has developed a GPS ear tag weighing 35 grams which updates location every hour and has a built in solar panel for recharging the battery. The tags are designed to last five years and if lost can be tracked through the GPS. It allows the ability to track stolen...

Anzco automates

[05 April/.Farmers Weekly] Anzcos automated cutting project worth $10 million is now in full production at the Rangitikei meat processing plant in the lower North Island. This new equipment replaced five band saws, and has improved accuracy on x-ray pictures allowing an extra 5mm of meat to be retained on French racks, adding significant value. ...

ClearTech an effluent game-changer

[29 March/Farmers Weekly] Ravensdown have reported  its new ClearTech dairy effluent treatment system will allow two-thirds of the water used daily to wash farm milking yards to be recycled. The system removes up to 99 percent of E coli and phosphorus from the raw effluent water while cutting nitrogen concentration by about 70 percent. ClearTech’s...

UK farmers, at the bottom of the food chain, turn to technology to make some money

[25 March/Stuff NZ] As UK farmers gear up for the upcoming lambing season many are turning to technology to sell their stock. UK sheep farmer Gordon Wyeth is one turning to digital platforms to sell his stock. Wyeth reports that a lot of farmers don’t have the time or money to be attending markets every...

‘Helicropping’ could take off

[25 March/Rural News] In a recent trial, ‘no-till’ heli-cropping may be the future solution to preventing soil erosion. The aerial ‘no-till’ approach means that farmers can establish crops and re-new pasture without touching the ground or disturbing the soil. Sustainable Helicropping Group Chairman, Colin Armer reported results from the $1 million project show potential to...

Less milk wasted

[22 March/Rural Life] Christchurch start-up CertusBio has been recognised at an Australian agricultural technology event for its technology aiming to minimising waste in the food processing industry. CertusBio use a biosensor device to monitor parameters such as fat and lactose content in industrial food processing wastewater. This allows operators to make adjustments in real-time to...

Kiwi dairy tech helps Chinese farms growth

[22 March/Farmers Weekly] A dairy unit 400 kilometres southwest of Beijing is using Waikato Milking Systems technology. The Leyuan dairy farm in Hebei province comprises six units milking at least 3000 cows each. It is owned by a processing company aiming to roll out another five units over the coming five years to take its...

Canterbury farmer credits advances in technology with revolutionising farming

[21 March/Stuff NZ] North Canterbury Farmer Mike Smith reports that advances in technology have revolutionised farming and he hope he will be able to pass on his legacy to his daughters. Mr Smith says that technology has been able to improve land production, due to the increased information available to him on soil types, fertility...

UK agricultural sector eyeing farming opportunities in NZ

[16 March/Radio NZ] A UK delegation of representatives from the agricultural sector have been on a tour of New Zealand with the intention of collaborating with NZ to create new farming technology. Duncan Forbes, Project Manager of the UK’s Agri-EPI Centre reported that both the UK and New Zealand face similar farming challenges, particularly to...

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 is helping horticulturalists find workers in the current shortage. PICMI a cloud-based software designed to simplify the employment process for agricultural seasonal staff. The software was developed last year as part of the Xcelerate programme where Genevieve Griffin-George’s idea was picked as one...

High-tech spraying for orchards

[15 March/Rural News] FMR Group has released a 3-row sprayer specifically for orchard spraying in its new O-series. The sprayer has been created through adaptation of the base technology found in the V-series.  The O-Series uses key technologies common to all FMR sprayers, The Weber tangential fan minimises spray drift by producing a full-length ‘curtain’...

New technology will help

[08 February/Rural News] A new report states primary industries may be able to use blockchain and distributed ledger technologies to help capture high-value niches. They can connect the sector more directly to consumers through supply chain innovations. Callaghan Innovation and blockchain venture studio Centrality commissioned the report which is written by author Joshua Vial. The...

Yamaha puts $12 million into Tauranga’s Robotics Plus

[15 November/NZ Herald] Tauranga ag-tech startup Robotics Plus, a maker of automation systems in horticulture and forestry, has revealed an USD8m ($12m) investment from Yamaha. The Japanese giant has now put in a total of USD10m, including an earlier investment in May, giving it a 15% holding in the company with the balance of the...

Robots to train vineyard and orchard workers to do a better job

[11 October/Stuff] Robots could be used to prune in vineyards and orchards across New Zealand. University of Auckland researchers were granted $16.8 million to develop a robotic automation system to upskill human workers, and do manual tasks. University Professor, Bruce MacDonald, said robots would not take jobs, but rather plug the existing labour shortage and...

Time to embrace gene editing technology, scientists say

[4 October/Stuff] According to a paper by The Royal Society Te Aparangi, removing allergens from milk and making manuka disease resistant could be potential uses of gene editing. It looked at several possible uses for New Zealand’s primary industries. Professor of Molecular Genetics at Massey University, Barry Scott, said gene editing techniques would allow more...

Rural areas can keep banks – if govt willing to pay for them

[3 September/Stuff] Regional Development Minister, Shane Jones, was told that if he wanted banks to continue to offer branches is rural areas, the Government may need to contribute. He criticised banks for closing branches in provincial towns, and suggested they should be obliged to service rural areas. New Zealand banks made cumulative profit of $5.19...

NZ Agritech is officially recognised by globally connected venture capital

[3 September/Agritech] New Zealand has become Farm2050’s first country partners when a Partnership Agreement was signed on Friday the 31st of August. Farm2050 is a collective of major global venture firms and agribusinesses dedicated to supporting Agtech innovations, being established by Google Chair, Eric Schmidt, in 2014. Agritech New Zealand would drive the partnership. They...

Gumboot maker Skellerup invests $1m in US rubber company

[11 July/Stuff] Skellerup is investing $1 million into a liquid silicone rubber company, Sim Lim Technic, to help grow its overseas market. It has obtained a 35 percent stake in the company. Skellerup Chief Financial Officer, Graham Leaming, said the U.S. was the company’s biggest and fastest growth market. The move would harness its capability...

Van der Heyden backs Fonterra chairman John Wilson after Shane Jones calls for resignation

[14 June/NZ Herald] Former Fonterra Chairman, Sir Henry van der Heyden, has given his backing to the current chairman of the co-op, John Wilson. He said no New Zealand farmer would argue with the current milk price forecast in response to comments from Regional Development Minister, Shane Jones, who said the company should stop being...

Halter announces $8 Million Series A capital raise from Silicon Valley investors

[14 June/Halter Press Release] Halter has raised $8 million in Series A funding to guide and manage livestock using artificial intelligence, sustainably increasing production at New Zealand dairy farms while saving billions in labour costs, improving environmental compliance and animal welfare. It announced it would commercialise its patented technologies that shift and manage livestock, starting...