Horticulture

Contaminated spray may cost apple exporters $3m

[12 December/ NZ Herald] The New Zealand apple industry was still not sure of the cost of a fungicide contamination which has threatened to destroy 35 hectares of apples in Hawke’s Bay. The contamination could potentially lower the value of the export harvest by several million dollars. The fungicide caused russet on apple skins, knocked...

Kiwifruit’s potential $26m-a-year windfall

[9 December/ NZ Herald] Zespri and its growers could gain $26 million on the first day of the revised Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTTP) as early as the end of 2018. The new agreement would involve implementing a zero percent tariff rate for the 11 countries including New Zealand. Currently, New...

Auckland’s future: vertical farming?

[1 December/ Radio New Zealand] Sustainability Strategist, Henry Gordon-Smith said vertical farming in high-rise buildings, warehouses or shipping containers could benefit a rapidly expanding Auckland. Mr Gordon-Smith added that vertical farming was becoming more popular overseas as more importance was placed on the idea of buying local and fresh. Mr Gordon-Smith explained that vertical farming...

China now open to NZ avocado exports

[5 December/ Rural News] New Zealand avocado exporters have started looking at how to develop a niche market in China following the signing of an agreement between the two countries allowing avocados to be exported to China. New Zealand Avocado Chief Executive, Jenny Scoular said New Zealand did not produce a significant volume of avocados,...

Blackcurrant grower quits business in face of oversupply

[4 December/ NZ Herald] Blackcurrant grower, Chris Nelson has ripped out all 30 hectares of blackcurrant bushes on his farm and has sown much of it in grass. Mr Nelson said it was a difficult decision because it had been a family business for nearly half a century, but there had been a change in...

Kiwifruit portside storage gets $11m boost

[28 November/ NZ Herald] The Port of Tauranga has opened a new $11 million cool store, ushering in a new era in the storage and containerisation of kiwifruit to overseas markets. Port of Tauranga Chief Executive, Mark Cairns said the cool store replaced one that was 48 years old and at the end of its...

Lucky escape for Christmas cherries

[27 November/ Radio New Zealand] Roxburgh Cherry Orchard owner, Gary Bennetts said the town was hit by heavy rain and hail on Monday afternoon and evening, with flooding knocking out the town’s water supply. Mr Bennetts added that the fruit escaped the worst of the deluge, but if the bad weather was repeated within the...

Demand for mini-apple drives orchard investment

[23 November/ Stuff] MyFarm, a rural investment group, has been looking for $13 million to fund the lease and development of four apple orchards in Hawke’s Bay. The group planned to grow the Rockit brand, a type of mini apple under licence by Rockit Global. One of Rockit Global’s challenges has been growing enough apples...

Urban sprawl and the land that keeps on giving

[17 November/New Zealand Herald] Local growers in the Pukekohe region are concerned that their soil is under threat from urban sprawl. Soil Scientist Fiona Curran-Cournane explained that the soil type, climate, and versatility of the land were all ideal for crop development. It is rated class one on the scoring system for land fertility (scores...

Avocado booming like never

 [21 November/ Rural News Group] NZ Avocado Growers Association and Avocado Industry Council Chairman Tony Ponder said the New Zealand avocado industry has grown from $70 million in value to $200 million in four years. Mr Ponder said key drivers of the increase in avocado demand are versatility, health benefits and great taste. Mr Ponder...

Fruit early, but shortage of workers

[16 November/New Zealand Herald] Cromwell and Roxburgh orchardists are reporting one of the best crops of cherries and apricots they’ve had in years. They intend to start harvesting cherries this week, ten days earlier than usual. The success of the crops can be attributed to a milder spring. It will not be until the fruit...

Citrus industry potential for growth

[9 November/New Zealand Herald] Havelock North’s St Andrews Limes Owner Anthony Williams believes the Hawke’s Bay region has enormous potential for growth in the citrus industry. There are areas within the region that do not get frosts and could be used to grow lemons, limes and oranges. The early sun along the East Coast also...

Avocados lead growing shift in land use

[9 November/New Zealand Herald] Regions in the upper North Island are seeing shifts in land use from dairying to horticulture. In particular, the land is being sold for the development of avocado orchids, which seek to capitalise on the regions idyllic growing conditions. The shift is similar to the kiwifruit shift seen in the Bay...

Future supply of NZ fruit, vegetables in jeopardy

[9 November/New Zealand Herald] Horticulture New Zealand Chief Executive Mike Chapman believes it is time to develop a national food security strategy. A document released by the organisation on Thursday indicates New Zealand may be unable to feed its growing population with domestically grown fruit and vegetables in the future. As our population has expanded,...

Urban sprawl and extreme weather put pressure on fruit and vegetable crops

[2 November/Stuff] The rapid housing market growth coupled with crop damage from extreme weather could mean a shortage of home-grown fresh fruit and vegetable for New Zealand says a Horticulture New Zealand report. Chief Executive Mike Chapman said that fruit and vegetable production was already below that required for domestic consumption and that a food...

SFO ends four-year Zespri investigation with no charges

[7 November/ New Zealand Herald] The Serious Fraud Office will not file charges against Zespri Group over dual-invoicing, ending a four-year investigation into the company. Serious Fraud Office Director, Julie Read, said the investigator found the evidence did not meet a high enough standard to lay charges after investigating allegations Zespri facilitated tax evasion while...

Pesticide recall after damage

[6 November/New Zealand Herald] A pesticide has been recalled after it caused damage to Royal Gala crops in Nelson, Tasman and Hawke’s Bay orchards. Adama New Zealand was alerted to the issue on October 5 after farmers reported blemishes on the leaves and buds of crops. An investigation was subsequently launched which identified a fungicide...

Horticulture leads shift in land use

[3 November/New Zealand Herald] Regions in the upper North Island are seeing shifts in land use from dairying to horticulture. In particular, land is being sold for the development of avocado orchids, which seek to capitalise on the regions idyllic growing conditions. The shift is similar to the kiwifruit shift seen in the Bay of...

Red tape costing the chance to grow

[2 November/New Zealand Herald] Kerikeri Horticulturist Brett Heap is angered at government bureaucracy preventing him from employing two more Thai nationals. The zucchini farmer currently employs nine Thai nationals legitimately under the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme to fill jobs that New Zealanders cannot or will not do. He would like to employ two more...

New Zespri CEO to split time between NZ and Singapore

[31 October/New Zealand Herald] New Zespri Chief Executive Dan Mathieson plans on splitting his time between New Zealand and Singapore as the global kiwifruit company seeks to further expand into international markets. The company plans to double global sales to $4.5 billion by 2025. The company’s current focus is on supplying markets all year round,...

Avocado prices could spike thanks to a short season and low yield

[31 October/ New Zealand Herald] This season’s avocado yield is predicted to be low, driving up consumer prices. New Zealand Avocado Growers’ Association President Jen Scoular confirmed this, and that the greater transparency of volumes this season allowed for more accurate predictions. Bron Kemp, the Delivery Manager for fruit seller Twisted Citrus, has warned of...

Govt lawyers, kiwifruit growers battle over duty of care in Psa court case

[27 October/New Zealand Herald] After 11-weeks the court case brought by kiwifruit growers against the Ministry of Primary Industries over the 2009 outbreak of Psa is coming to a close. Jack Hodder QC, the Government’s Lawyer, said in his closing statement that the Government did not have a duty of care for biosecurity. The group...

Growers take a hit

[24 October/Rural News] Vegetable growers will be taking a hit from lost production this year. Wet and colder weather is to blame according to Horticulture NZ’s Chief Executive Mike Chapman. Mr Chapman says that the current weather difficulties have been felt across the board, but that among the hardest hit regions is Pukekohe, who traditionally...

Spuds rot in wet

[24 October/Rural News] Potatoes NZ chief executive Chris Claridge says that some Pukekohe potato growers are reporting up to 30 percent losses due to rot. The wet weather is to blame, as fields have struggled to dry for harvest or plant. The industry appears to be about one to two weeks behind in planting. The...