Horticulture

Lethal strain of Psa hits NZ – owned Seeka kiwifruit orchard in Australia

[17 October/Stuff] A lethal strain of the Psa bacteria was detected for the first time in Australia on a kiwifruit orchard owned by New Zealand horticulture business, Seeka. The disease caused havoc on the New Zealand kiwifruit industry in 2010, forcing some growers out of business. The Psa tolerant gold variety helped remedy the situation....

Teviot Valley couple just mad about saffron

[16 October/Rural Life] Teviot Valley couple, Wendy King and Graham Strong, produced premium saffron that was gaining worldwide attention and had proven health benefits. It attracted high prices, but was hard work. The flowers needed to be handpicked, and plucked by hand. Mr King emphasised weeding was a large part of the job. They started...

Vegetable prices fall

[11 October/Rural News] Vegetable prices fell 8.7 percent in September. Lettuce prices fell 45 percent and according to Statistics New Zealand, lettuce heads were down to $1.81 each. Prices reached a high of $5.42 in July 2018 due to poor weather, but there had been two major price falls since. At the same time last...

Horticulture contender relishes opportunity

[3 October/Rural Life] According to Otago Polytechnic Graduate, Morgan Hampton, contesting the title of New Zealand’s top young horticulturist was not for the faint hearted, but was a great opportunity. He owned Bluestone Gardeners and Nursery. He made it to the final of the Young Horticulturist of the Year, alongside five other competitors. The grand...

Big plans for NZ avocado exports to China

[8 October/Radio NZ] New Zealand Avocado have plans to grow exports to China since securing market access. The first shipment arrived in China last week. It followed years of preparations, inspections, trialling and certification by Chinese and New Zealand authorities. New Zealand Avocado Chief Executive, Jen Scoular, said around 40,000 trays would be sent this...

Wet winter could result in veggie shortages – grower [25 September/Radio NZ] New Zealand potato grower, AS Wilcox, warned a wet winter could lead to a vegetable shortage over winter. They produced 30,000 tonnes of potatoes a year, similar volumes of onions, and 5,000 tonnes of carrots. Its General Manager, Brent Wilcox, said continuous rain...

Fruitful results for Vietnam’s dragonfruit industry

[28 September/Radio NZ] Scientists from New Zealand believed they had found a way to double dragonfruit production. This would be achieved through changing the way the plants are trained. Plant and Food Research scientists worked in Vietnam for five years as part of an aid programme to improve returns for dragonfruit growers. Head of Plant...

Tomato growers plan 24-hour strike in pursuit of living wage

[23 September/Stuff] New Zealand tomato growers will strike for 24 hours to protest low pay. The union representing the growers, First Union, said more than 100 growers and distribution and logistics employees at T&G Global would protest. Its lead organiser, Denise Roche, said the action was in protest of low pay and its refusal to...

Massive bed shortages expected during Central Otago’s peak harvesting periods

[18 September/Stuff] The expansion of the Central Otago cherry industry means there may not be enough beds for the workers required to harvest them. More than 465 hectares of cherry trees are expected to be planted across the region, which represented a 56 percent increase on the current level. An additional 284 hectares of grapes...

‘It’s Australia’s problem’ – New Zealand strawberry grower on needles fiasco

[24 September/NZ Herald] A strawberry grower assured consumers New Zealand strawberries were safe and unaffected by the needle problem in Australia. In the first reported case here, needles were found in imported strawberries at St Lukes Countdown. The company withdrew the brand from its shelves. Foodstuffs said it would half the distribution of Australian strawberries...

Tauranga’s Maori berry company Miro could rival kiwifruit’s Zespri

[15 September/NZ Herald] A Maori owned berry company in Tauranga believes it could be as successful as Zespri. Miro plans to become an export success story by putting tunnel houses on underutilised Maori land nationwide, creating over 5,000 jobs and put $500 million into the economy. Business Development Manager, Liz Te Amo, said it had...

Taxpayer costs for kiwifruit claim trial balloon out to $6m

[17 September/Stuff] Taxpayers had spent $6 million on defending the kiwifruit claim case. It was the most expensive primary sector court case on record. Growers had claimed the Ministry for Primary Industries were negligent in allowing the Psa disease into the country in 2010 and are claiming more than $450 million in compensation. MPI wanted...

Volume pushes Scales profit up

[29 August/Farmers Weekly] Higher apple volumes and prices increased profits for Scales Corporation. It was waiting for confirmation of its sale of its Polarcold business. All its divisions traded strongly, but Mr Apple subsidiary accounted for around 75 percent of its earnings. An improved growing season meant fruit volumes were much higher. Scales Corp Managing...

Record Mr Apple performance boosts Scales Corp

[29 August/NZ Herald] Mr Apple saw its exports rise 69,480 tonnes which helped its parent company, Scales Corporation, achieve a half year profit of $34.8 million. Scales Corporation Managing Director, Andy Borland, said exports from its Mr Apple business grew 9 percent. He added export demand was strong, particularly in Asia. He noted the return...

New apricot co-operative sets up for business

[22 August/Rural Life] A new grower cooperative is being set up to manage the release, marketing and licencing of new apricot varieties. There were three new varieties that were yet to be given brand names. One of the directors, Nigel Hinton, said Summerfruit New Zealand’s Apricot Co interim board was a sub-committee of the organisation...

Scales Corp sells Timaru liquid storage business

[23 August/The Country] Scales Corporation Limited has announced that it is selling its Timaru bulk storage business, Liqueo, to SBT Group. Scale’s Managing Director, Andy Borland, said Liqueo enjoyed strong growth with a long term storage contract set to run for another 18 years. He added the operation was sub-scale in the context of the...

Plant & Food Research study backs use of biopesticides

[23 August/The Country] Consumer demand for residue-free produce is on the rise. University of Auckland Researcher, Madeleine Trusewich, said New Zealand’s kiwifruit industry would benefit from fast tracking its shift towards biopesticides. Through her internship with Plant & Food Research, she determined shifting sooner was a big opportunity for New Zealand. Zespri was working with...

Pukekohe grower: ‘We’re really the last frontier’

[15 August/Radio NZ] Increased lettuce prices are possible according to the horticulture industry. A report predicted fresh fruit and vegetables could increase by 50 percent due to Auckland’s booming population and housing demands. It warned of increased produce costs, job losses, and a $1.1 billion impact on the economy. Hira Bhana and Co Grower, Bharat...

Kiwifruit claimants cross-appeal after High Court Psa decision

[7 August/NZ Herald] A cross-appeal has been filed by the Kiwifruit Claim over the decision that found the Ministry for Primary Industries was negligent by letting Psa into New Zealand. Kiwifruit Claim Chairman, John Cameron, wanted the Government to accept the decision. He added growers were left with no choice but to cross-appeal after the...

Strong returns for Ravensdown

[7 August/Farmers Weekly] Ravensdown has reported strong earnings but believed its work helping farmers to reduce their environmental impact was as important. It said good progress was being made to ensure the most efficient application protocols are in place between its environmental consultants and nutrient management advisers and farmers. Its Chairman, John Henderson, said it...

Summerfruit readies funding case

[1 August/Rural Life] Summerfruit New Zealand Chief Executive, Marie Dawkins, said it had nearly completed its business case proposal for a Primary Growth Partnership that will encourage innovation, add value and enhance the industry. She added it was a major strategy for the industry. It sent its initial application several months ago and the panel...

Critical seasonal labour shortage may hinder kiwifruit industry growth – report

[3 August/The Country] A report by New Zealand Kiwifruit Gowers Inc says a critical shortage of seasonal workers could limit the kiwifruit industry’s growth over the next ten years. The report showed the industry would require 7,000 seasonal workers if it was to double in size as predicted. At the start of the 2018 season,...

Three people arrested after avocado heists

[3 August/The Country] Three people were arrested due to avocados being stolen from orchards in the Bay of Plenty. Police alleged that one was the organised receiver who purchased the fruit from the two who stole it. A 63 year old was due to appear in court later this month. Two others from Tauranga would...

Kiwifruit growers group silent as members delay constitutional changes

[30 July/NBR] New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers’ Incorporated would not comment on its annual general meeting which was held up after growers halted constitutional changes. It tried to implement new powers for its executive committee which included giving delegated authority for decision-making.  Growers were concerned it would mean the committee would have the power to negotiate...