Horticulture

Hemp burger: BurgerFuel takes eating green to a whole new level

[03 September/The Country] BurgerFuel New Zealand takes eating green to a whole new level today with the launch of a limited-edition vegan hemp burger which will be sold nationwide for one month from today, or while stocks last. The burger contains hemp and broccoli bites, pūhā and cabbage kraut, avocado, hemp-seed-oil aoili and an organic...

Berry farm becomes local produce hub

[31 August/Rural Life] McArthurs Berry Farm, a popular summer stop for locals and tourists alongside the Outram-Mosgiel highway near Outram, will reopen on 01 December, with fresh produce from around the region. A condition of council consent for the hub and a new attached 200sqm residence is that there will be no “non-locally grown” products...

Development of genetically modified ryegrass making progress

[29 August/The Country] AgResearch states that its development of a new generation grass is making steady progress in the United States, where the institute is conducting field trials of the genetically modified High Metabolisable Energy (HME) ryegrass.  Testing includes whether the environmentally sustainable grass will perform in the field in a similar way to the...

Kiwifruit packhouse adopts brown kiwi

[29 August/The Country] EastPack, New Zealand’s largest post-harvest service Kiwifruit provider is partnering with Whakatane Kiwi Trust and have adopted a brown kiwi as a result. Born in March, the kiwi was recently released into reserve lands in the Whakatane area and the packhouse named their kiwi Browny. While Browny’s gender is yet to be...

Māori organisations weigh up horticulture over dairy

[28 August/The Country] Industry sources state that there is a compelling business case for Māori organisations to move away from traditional farming practices and embrace investment opportunities in horticulture.  Opportunities include financial returns, job prospects as well as moving towards a sustainable future. Traditional land use options for Māori organisations have typically taken the form...

Zespri wants more overseas fruit

[31 July/Farmers Weekly] Although Zespri International’s supplies of foreign kiwifruit rose by 20 percent last year, Chief Executive Dan Mathieson reports that they are still well short of potential demand. Mr Mathieson stated that the increase to 18.4 million trays in the year ended March 31, from 15.5m a year earlier, is an important step...

Seeka considers sale and leaseback of Australian orchards

[29 July/Farmers Weekly] Kiwifruit grower and marketer Seeka have reported it is looking at a potential sale and leaseback on some or all of its orchard portfolio in Australia to accelerate orchard development and repay debt. Seeka Australia currently holds over 273 hectares of orchards in production or development, with approximately 278 hectares available for...

Local Focus: Hemp hub for Rangitīkei and Whanganui

[28 July/The Country] Rangitikei District Council’s Strategic Advisor for Economic Development, Gioia Damasso is helping to promote the hemp industry in her region as a great opportunity for sustainable economic growth. Hemp has been identified to have over 500,000 uses and more are still being discovered, with a range of products using the plant including...

Hemp information session to help build resources and networks in Rangitīkei and Whanganui

[24 July/The Country] Rangitikei District Council is holding an information session on 30 July to help those interested in hemp production as well as teaching them best practice for production. The council’s Strategic Advisor for Economic Development, Gioia Damasso reports that although hemp has a lot of stigma surrounding it because of the resemblance it...

Mail order spud company spreading love ‘one potato at a time

[23 July / Stuff NZ] Start-up company Potato Post NZ lets customers send a potato anywhere in New Zealand with a personalised, handwritten message. The online service launched two weeks ago, and Founder Srinivas Kalakota reports the response has been positive, with a range of messages being sent. Customers can also have an image of...

Whangārei citrus collection sweet deal for South Island

[23 July / The Country] On Sunday, the people of Whangārei tuned up to give away their extra citrus fruit as part of the Lion’s Citrus for the South campaign collection at Kensington Stadium. More than 225 banana boxes of fruit were donated and are on their way to the south, with Mainland covering transportation...

Craigmore spends $32M to expand Kerikeri kiwifruit crop

[22 July / Scoop] Craigmore has spent $32 million in order to expand Kerikeri’s kiwifruit crop by more than a third, after receiving permission from the Overseas Investment Office. The money will develop 137 hectares of land and create 29 new jobs. Craigmore is run by New Zealanders but has its investment capital raised offshore....

Hemp sector gears up for growth

[18 July / Rural News] New Zealand hemp industry players are looking to advance the industry as they install the first commercial stalk-to-fibre processing plant and develop efficient harvesting machinery. A NZ Yarn carpet wool factory in Christchurch is also being transformed into a hemp fibre processing facility as the industry begins to gain traction....

Farmers urged to help Christchurch company’s plans to cultivate cannabis

[18 July/The Country] Long White Cloud Genetics is hoping to soon receive approval from the Ministry of Health to start cultivating cannabis for medical and scientific use. The Christchurch-based company intends to buy land, preference being the Lincoln area, and use it to grow and manufacture the drug. Co-founder and managing director Aaron Hill reports...

Berry farm gets government help to expand hydroponic operation

(15 July/Stuff) A $2.37 million loan has been granted to Maungatapere Berries by the Government’s Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) to help it expand its operation by a further four hectares. The expansion is hoped to be the first-phase of a high tech education, training and employment operation that will see 45 full-time jobs created says...

Concentrating on blackcurrants

(3 July/Rural Life) Pleasant Point growers Tony and Afsaneh Howey have had to sell and give up leases to 600ha of land to focus on their blackcurrant business. Mr Howey said they were keen to find a young grower to take on the land but unfortunately that didn’t happen so selling was the only option....

Avocado prices plunge as new season starts

(11 July/Stuff) Supplies of avocados have increased as the new season has begun and are now selling at Countdown for $2.70 each or two for $5 around the country, much lower that prices reported in May. High prices caused many cafes and restaurants to pull avocados from their menus. A spokesperson from Countdown reported that...

Rezoning could badly affect cherry growers

[3 July/Rural Life] At the reconvened hearing on Tuesday into plan change 13, which would allow a 900-lot residential development on the outskirts of Cromwell, commissioners were told the production of cherries and other summer fruits in Cromwell orchards would be irreversibly impacted if the plan change was granted. Horticulture New Zealand environmental policy adviser...

Plant breeder’s world role

[27 June/Farmers Weekly] The appointment of a New Zealand representative to the International Seed Federation board is key to local plant breeders staking a peg on the global radar, Plant Breeders Association general manager Thomas Chin says. Industry stalwart Brent Stirling was elected to the international role at the federation’s 95th World Seed Congress in...

NZ could go bananas over climate change

[24 June/Rural Life] Head of Horticulture New Zealand Mike Chapman reports that bananas might one day be a staple crop for the country due to climate change. Mr Chapman wants growers and farmers to see the opportunities climate change might bring as well as the barriers as some new crops begin to thrive whilst others...

Avocado heists feed sushi black market

[21 June/Rural Life] Avocado thieves are forcing growers to install cameras and electric fences to protect their fruit from a black market that is believed to be supplying sushi shops. Tauranga growers Liz Pratt and Neville Cooper have caught the latest thieves on film after two separate night break-ins on 08 June and 12 June,...

New horizons for bulb exporters

[19 June/Rural life] Tulip bulb exporters Horizon Flowers New Zealand Ltd has paid $7.8million for a 162ha dairy farm at Mabel Bush. The Dutch-owned company gained ministerial approval for the purchase in April, which would allow it to effectively increase it’s planting to 80ha and add around one million flowers to its export revenues. Horizon...

Dual cropping to increase efficiency in commercial hemp farming

[10 June/The Country] New multi-purpose hemp cropping innovations by Hemp NZ, Carrfields and NZ Yarn could place New Zealand at the forefront of innovation as they look at ways to have highly efficient use of the entire plant, resulting in higher potential returns for growers. The innovations, which are the first to be developed and...

NZ prepares for its avocado congress bid

[06 June/The Country] Jen Scoular, CEO of NZ Avocado reports that the company has been preparing its bid to host the World Avocado Congress in 2023. Last year it was held in Colombia and Mrs Scoular reports that hosting the congress would be a big benefit for New Zealand which would bring between 1000 and...