Sheep focus of facial recognition

Sheep focus of facial recognition

[17 June/Farmers Weekly] Former AgResearch employees Greg Peyroux and Benoit Auvray from Iris Data Science in Dunedin are looking at agricultural applications for artificial intelligence (AI) using visual imaging. Initial work is on using computers to accurately analyse images to recognise and identify the faces of individual sheep and the...
Farmers and growers 'should be proud' of progress made over past decade

Farmers and growers ‘should be proud’ of progress made over past decade

[18 June/NZ Herald] A long-term erosion of confidence in the primary sector needs to be reversed, says KPMG global head of agri-business Ian Proudfoot. Proudfoot’s comments were made last week when launching the 2019 KPMG Agribusiness Agenda at Fieldays 2019. Mr Proudfoot commented that confidence was low in the sector,...
The Beyond Meat of fish is coming

The Beyond Meat of fish is coming

[17 June/The Country] Salmon has become the guinea pig of the seas when it comes to using technology to supplement falling fish populations. Now it’s moved onto land – and into the laboratory. Massachusetts-based AquaBounty Technologies is hoping its genetically modified “AquAdvantage” version of Atlantic salmon, which it says grows...
Dairy and meat alternatives rake in the most investments in 2018

Dairy and meat alternatives rake in the most investments in 2018

[11 June/Food Dive] Plant-centric alternatives to meat and dairy accounted for one-third of total investment in food and beverage startups in 2018, according to a new report. Impossible Foods got a single USD114 million investment — and Ancient Nutrition raised USD108 million. Notable categories receiving investments included alternative products —...
Zespri targets use of plastics

Zespri targets use of plastics

[14 June/Farmers Weekly] Zespri’s chief executive Dan Mathieson is pushing for more sustainable processes in horticulture’s fastest growing sector. Zespri is to lead development of a sustainability framework for the sector in response to growing consumer demands for more sustainable practices throughout the supply chain. The demand for more sustainable...
Latest entries

New machine to help export traceability

[05 June/The Scoop] AgResearch is developing a method of giving New Zealand exports a unique fingerprint that scientifically proves their provenance and could be used to deter supply-chain fraud. The method can also detect what feed a carcass was reared on. Dr Alastair Ross said the new rapid evaporative ionisation mass spectrometer (REIMS) machine being...

FIELDAYS: Sector needs empathy

[10 June/Farmers Weekly] Kellogg Rural Leader and Social Licence Consultant Penny Clark-Hall reports that one needs to value stakeholders and have empathy and respect for them even if they are challenging the rural sector, if the sector is to have a social license. Mrs Clark-Hall reports that values can be divisive, and that the sector...

Women ready to meat challenge

[05 June/Farmers Weekly] Ashley Gray, General Manager for Beef + Lamb NZ is passionate about getting women in the meat sector. Last month Mrs Gray was instrumental in launching the professional networking initiative, Meat Business Women (MBW) and is excited about the positive challenges it will have for women seeking meat industry careers. MBW wants...

Government may ban live cattle exports

[11 June/Stuff NZ] Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor states a conditional ban on the live export of cattle is one of several options being considered as part of a review of the trade in live animals. Live cattle exports were worth $30 million last year for the country. Hon. O’Connor reports that live cattle exports may...

Pork imports from disease-affected Poland more than double in a month

[10 June/Stuff NZ] Poland has increased its exports to New Zealand by more than double, just as it has been confirmed pigs on a farm there have been found to have African Swine Fever. In April, Poland exported 307 tonnes to New Zealand up from 159 tonnes a month before. The discovery has alarmed the...

Want to feed the world? Just grab some grub

[06 June/Farmers Weekly] Auckland University of Technology Senior Lecturer and Registered Dietitian Dr Caryn Zinn is exploring how insects and other alternative proteins might be used or added to a range of specialty foods. Dr Zinn reports that conventional livestock will not be able to sustainably meet global demand for meat, so alternatives are needed...

Oceania Dairy recognised at NZ China Trade Association awards

[11 June/The Country] Oceania Dairy Ltd has received an award for investment between China and New Zealand at this year’s HSBC New Zealand China Trade Association China Business Awards. Oceania Dairy, which has a plant just north of Glenavy, is a subsidiary of Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group (Yili), China’s largest dairy producer. The company...

DIRA revamp disappoints

[07 June/Farmers Weekly] Changes to the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act don’t go far enough, according to Fonterra’s Shareholders Council Chairman Duncan Coull as it should have instead refocused on the future to optimise value creation from milk. Fonterra Chairman John Monaghan also rued a missed opportunity to reform dairy industry regulations for the benefit of...

Dairy law changes spur dissent

[07 June/Rural Life] Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor yesterday announced changes to be made to the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act 2001 (DIRA) and the Dairy Industry Restructuring Raw Milk Regulations 2012. Both Fonterra Co-operative Group and Federated Farmers believe that there has been a missed opportunity in the legislation. Fonterra supports the greater pricing transparency but...

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...

Kiwi’s quinoa dream now a reality

[12 June/Farmers Weekly] Dan and Jacqui Cottrell have been growing super food quinoa on their family farm in Taihape after discovering it on an overseas trip to Peru. 80 Percent of the world’s global supply of quinoa comes from Peru. The process has not been an easy one and has involved deciding which variety of...

Shane Jones: Farmers need townies

[11 June/The Country] Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones reported at the Federated Farmers’ Northland AGM about how farmers need to win over urban votes in order to maintain their influence on policy as he spoke to an audience who were feeling under threat from climate change and forestry policies. Hon. Jones spoke of how...

Grass-fed message won’t sell NZ products but health benefits could

[08 June/Stuff NZ] Andy Elliot, Nuffield Scholar reports that exporters should be focusing on marketing their products based on their nutritional benefits, rather than New Zealand’s ‘’clean, green, grass-fed’’ message that is not unique. Mr Elliot spent much of last year studying New Zealand business models and his findings come out of the fact that...

Funds for more frequent inspections of Crown pastoral lease land

[06 June/Stuff NZ] Extra Budget funding will allow more frequent inspections of the Crown’s South Island pastoral lease land, however a tenure review specialist has stated that this should already be done using 21st century technology such as satellite data. The funding will let Land Information New Zealand (Linz) improve how it monitors and enforces...

Rural mental health lacks detail

[10 June/Farmers Weekly] Rural Health Alliance Executive Director Marie Daly is hoping that rural mental health is included in the funding allocation of $1.8 billion from the newly released budget. The mental health package is to be spread over five years and includes $455 million to expand access to primary mental health and addiction support,...

Call for compulsory quad bike rollover bars

[06 June/The Country] Worksafe has just released new quad safety recommendations endorsed by Federated Farmers which state that crush protection devices are strongly recommended. However, quad bike accident survivor and Otago Farmer Douglas Jack reports that the recommendations do not go far enough. Jack commented he only survived both accidents because of his use of...

Alliance Group fined $330,000 after worker loses finger tips in boning machine

[06 June/Stuff NZ] Alliance Group was sentenced at Invercargill District Court on Thursday and fined $331,875 as a result of the January 2018 incident at the plant in Mataura which resulted in a worker having the tips of his fingers amputated. After the incident, the worker drove himself to Gore hospital to seek medical help...

Visualisation tool enables landowners to see farms of the future

[10 June/Stuff NZ] Dunedin-based Animation Research has joined forces with Crown research institute AgResearch to turn data into a visualisation of potential land use change, helping landowners with decision-making. The technology will be shown for the first time at the National Fieldays in Hamilton. The ‘’hyper farm’’ will help landowners to visualise their landscapes under...

Sea algae research could hold solution to devastating kiwifruit disease

[10 June/Stuff NZ] University of Waikato students Claire Voogt and Taylor Farr are investigating how the natural metabolites from algae can be used to treat pathogenic bacteria. They are particularly interested in how it could treat Psa, which cost the kiwifruit industry an estimated $1 billion in exports when it was discovered on a vine...

Foreigners and corporates can get taxpayer help

[10 June/Farmers Weekly] Forestry Minister Shane Jones confirmed $2.2 million of the $118 million Billion Trees fund has been allocated, of which $1.5m is for planting native trees and the balance for exotics. Foreign and corporate landowners are eligible for taxpayer help to plant trees but the subsidy does not allow for planting whole farms....

Solving the sticky fruit stickers snag

[06 June/Farmers Weekly] Billions of fruit stickers go into the environment every year and now three 18-year-old tertiary students have an idea of how to solve this. Maggie Peacock, Sarah Wixon and Zoe Rookes have created the Uble, which is a plastic-free, biodegradable, warm water soluble alternative to the plastic fruit sticker. Miss Wixon stated...

Focusing climate change targets on farming ‘isn’t really justified’

[05 June/The Country] Setting stringent climate change targets without understanding their cost or feasibility risks is placing an unfair burden on some sectors, according to Climate Change Professor David Frame. Professor Frame states that moving the country to a net-zero carbon economy will have benefits but also real costs so it is important these are...

Costco’s coming: World’s second-largest retailer unveils NZ store

[11 June/NZ Herald] Costco Wholesale Corporation, the world’s second-largest retailer behind Walmart, has just announced it will open its first New Zealand store in Westgate. The entire project is based on about 14,000sq m which is roughly equivalent to two rugby fields, and will provide over 800 carparks as well as the equivalent of 350...