Horticulture making a comeback in Taranaki – Robin Martin:
Horticulture is making a comeback in Taranaki.
Avocado and kiwifruit orchards are being planted in numbers not seen since 1988 – when the devastation of Cyclone Bola forced many to convert to dairy.
Dairy farmers Holly and Jarrod Murdoch’s leap into kiwifruit came via a knock at the door from a representative from industry giant Apata.
Holly said the Bay of Plenty company’s approach piqued her husband’s interest in the fruit. . .
Breaking tech barriers – Tony Benny:
Farmers’ reluctance to share data is slowing the adoption of technology that could help transform New Zealand’s food production systems to be more sustainable, resilient and consumer-focused, a study by researchers from AgResearch has found.
The study was part of the New Zealand Bioeconomy in the Digital Age (NZBIDA) project, which aims to test if digital technologies can provide new solutions to many of the issues that farmers face today. . .
Kumara prices are sitting at low levels not seen for nearly a decade.
Warm, dry conditions led to this year’s crop being 35 percent higher than last season – about 25,000 tonnes have been harvested.
Despite a spike in sales during lockdown there is still plenty in storage which is keeping the price low for consumers at between $2.50 and $3.50 a kilo.
Delta Produce group in Dargaville is the country’s largest kumara producer, general manager Lochie Wilson said prices haven’t been this low in nine years. . .
Exploring farming alternatives – Avneesh Vincent:
A Te Tairawhiti research project exploring different land-use preferences shows that Maori landowners overwhelmingly value native forest carbon farming over other land uses.
“The research explores how native forest carbon farming could be used as a land development option for Maori land on the East Coast,” former Victoria University student Dr Leo Mercer said.
“Especially when compared with other dominating land use options, namely forestry, sheep and beef farming.”
A particular emphasis was placed on the applicability and feasibility of native forest carbon farming within Aotearoa’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). . .
Fonterra has released its sustainability score card summarising progress towards its people and environmental targets.
Fonterra COO Fraser Whineray says “transparently reporting across a range of sustainability metrics is very important for our Co-operative. At the time of our annual results release next week we will also publish our fifth Sustainability Report. This covers in detail our activities across business, people and environment, three vital ingredients for a sustainable Co-operative. In advance of that, we are sharing a summarised scorecard covering the people and environmental aspects.”
One of the biggest ones is the 11% reduction in GHG emissions from coal in a single year, primarily through the conversion to renewable wood pellets at our Te Awamutu site. This is a great step towards delivering our 2030 target and our goal of getting out of coal by 2037. . .
New Zealand’s ability to provide high quality protein, fibre and produce to consumers prepared to pay a premium for it is starting to resonate more strongly throughout the primary sector.
This has been bought about in part by customers seeking products with a clearly sustainable provenance and back story that meets their desire to purchase food and fibre that treads with a lighter environmental footprint.
This country’s efforts to measure and ensure farming is sustainable, both environmentally and financially, is also helping create multiple opportunities for the next generation of people who want to stake their career within the primary sector.
The simpler, more commodity-based focus of the past has given way to production of food and fibre that require a wider variety of skills and talent to farm, process, research, and market to an increasingly diverse, sophisticated global market. . .