Friday, 03 July 2020 13:11

Hort raring to go

Written by  Staff Reporters
Hort NZ chief executive Mike Chapman.  Hort NZ chief executive Mike Chapman. 

Horticulture New Zealand says the findings of the survey confirm that the sector will help drive New Zealand’s post-Covid recovery.

“Growers are keen to get back the recovery and provide displaced New Zealand with jobs,” says Hort NZ chief executive Mike Chapman. 

“However, they are wary about the possible impact of central and local government decisions around freshwater, land use, labour availability, and education and training.”

Chapman says the sector wants to work in partnership with central and local government to achieve common goals when it comes to land and freshwater management.

Chapman says the survey also shows that access to labour has been a handbrake on growth – which the sector has been pointing out for years.

“While it is good news that many New Zealanders may want a new career in horticulture, those people will need training, and several will need support to relocate and adjust to different working conditions.”

HortNZ says there will still be a reliance on the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme to enable horticulture to grow and employ more New Zealanders on a permanent basis.

Meanwhile, Chapman agrees with another key finding of the survey that worldwide demand for New Zealand-grown fruit and vegetables will increase long-term.

“Our fruit and vegetables are grown to the highest possible standard and with complete transparency,” he explains. “This gives consumers in New Zealand and across the world absolute confidence, for which they are prepared to pay a premium.”

More like this

Dairy demand tipped to firm

Demand for dairy will firm over the next two years as  the global economy rebounds from Covid, says Westpac senior agri economist Nathan Penny.

The minister of zoom

Trade Minister Damien O'Connor says he and other trade ministers around the world will need to get used to developing relationships via Zoom.

A dangerous precedent

A proposal by the Timaru District Council (TDC) to extend setbacks in rural areas is raising eyebrows.

Featured

 

Lely offerings for the future

Dutch robotic specialist Lely launched a new farm management application called Horizon at its recent Future Farm Days 2020.

Designed to connect data from a range of on-farm equipment and suppliers into one management system, it creates a real-time decision-support platform, to make the farmer’s life easier, the herd healthier and the farm more profitable, says Lely.

Developed over a 24-month period, with over 100 test farmers in seven countries, working with 75 engineers, designers, farm management advisors, veterinarians and AI specialists, the new application will eventually replace the current Lely T4C management system. It uses smart algorithms and the cloud to deliver data that is processed into actionable information that is always accessible on any device in a user-friendly way.

Lely claims the Horizon application unburdens farmers from routine decision making and helps them optimise their workloads, using integrated routines based on easily scheduled cow ‘touches’, create logical and more efficient workflows. It is also possible to assign a certain task to an employee and to schedule a time slot for the cow touch, rather than analysing different reports and filtering long lists.

Horizon is also able to connect and combine data from non-Lely sources into a complete solution for the farmer removing the need to enter the same data twice, while scrutinising individual data streams in different applications will no longer be necessary. Currently, connections with farming applications such as Dairy Comp, Uniform-Agri, CRV and Herde already enable farmers to synchronise information about calving and inseminations between applications. Lely’s ambition is to connect with more partners over time, to hand the farmer more smart data.

To ensure full support in the migration to Lely Horizon, existing Lely T4C customers will be personally informed by their Lely Center before the end of 2020.

The migration is planned in a phased approach, from country to country, over the year 2021.

Also launched at the event, Lely Exos is an autonomous concept for harvesting and feeding fresh grass to the herd.

The company suggests that feeding fresh grass makes better use of available roughage, suggesting “fresh” has between 10 and 20% more nutritional value than grass silage, as there are minimal losses typically seen during mowing, tedding, raking, harvesting and feeding.

Lely suggests that feeding fresh grass over an extended season reduces the amount of silage that has to be conserved, reduces the need for concentrates and bought-in feed and increase the margin made on each litre of milk produced.

Based around an all-electric vehicle that mows and feeds, Exos is light weight and uses soil friendly technology, that can be exploited throughout the growing season. Design to work 24/7 as feed requirements change, the system places no constraints on labour or time, while it is also designed to work in tandem with the Lely Vector automatic feeding systems.

In operation, Exos also collects field data as it goes about its job, giving framers live data on grass supply and lending itself to a further concept of delivering a targeted liquid fertiliser as it passes over a harvested area.

Goat farming on the rise

Dairy goat milk processors, looking to increase their supplier numbers, are helping to drive interest among farmers in New Zealand’s growing goat milk industry.

TB fight goes on

The total number of TB-infected herds in Hawke’s Bay has risen to 20, following the recent reclassification of a new herd in the Waitara Valley.

Milking cows behind the barbed wire

A recent field day at the Waikeria Prison Farm near Te Awamutu offered farmers the chance to see what goes on “behind the wire”, alongside introducing the idea of farmers employing offenders near the end or after the term of their sentences.

National

Historic day for Māori hort

A crowd of more than 150 people turned out at a recent field day at Ngai Tukairangi Trust’s kiwifruit orchard at…

Lack of labour

New Zealand kiwifruit growers are nervous about having enough people to work in the industry during the coming months, according…

Machinery & Products

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Tough gig!

OPINION: This old mutt has a fair amount of sympathy for Ag Minister Damien O’Connor with the two associate ministers…

Cow killer

OPINION: The Hound was not surprised to hear well-known end-of-the-world doom-merchant ‘Dr’ Mike Joy is still as joyless as ever…

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter