17 December 2019

In this issue

Mike's Blog

Growth = Risk + Finance + Opportunity

No one in the food and fibre industry is risk-averse.  Growers face many risks every day.  More frequent extreme weather events, falling product prices, increasing and costly regulations, the struggle to find reliable workers, and the challenge of getting products to market are some but not all of the risks. 

Read the full blog here.


HortNZ and NZGAP Christmas close down

This is our last newsletter for 2019.  HortNZ and NZGAP will be closed from 12pm on Friday 20 December until 8.30am on Monday 6 January 2020. 

If you have a certification anniversary during this two week period, please complete your renewal process as soon as possible, by emailing NZGAP or calling 04 470 5867.  

If you have an urgent NZGAP or another query during the Christmas close down, please contact HortNZ Chief Executive, Mike Chapman 027 487 4264.  

We would like to take this opportunity to wish you all the best over the festive season and look forward to working with you in 2020.  This newsletter will return on 14 January 2020.  

HortNZ Future Director for 2020

Brydon Nisbet has been appointed as HortNZ Future Director for 2020.

Brydon is based in the Hawke's Bay where he runs his apple orchard, Global Harvest.  He has been involved with horticulture for more than 25 years and is looking forward to the opportunity to grow his governance capabilities. 
Brydon also works at the Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) in the Hawke’s Bay.  His role includes on and off job tutoring within the fruit industry, and a trainee cadetship programme.

The HortNZ Future Director is an annual appointment.  The first director was Kate Trufitt who served this year.  The HortNZ Board thanks Kate for her sterling contribution and wishes her well in future governance roles. 

Brydon’s appointment takes effect on 1 January 2020.
Grower Support

Managing the risks associated with working around power lines 

The electrocution in November of an orchard worker installing hail netting with a hydralada is a stark reminder of the need to actively manage the risks associated with working around power lines. 

WorkSafe has prepared some comprehensive and practical guidelines, which you can access here

‘Horticulture needs to put more effort into ensuring all workers get home safely,’ says HortNZ Health and Safety Manager, Antony Heywood. 

‘Growers need to look at safety options from the start, rather than after there’s been an injury or worse, a death.  The Horticulture Health and Safety Council, with the support of WorkSafe, will be talking to growers about good management practices in the new year. 

"Horticulture is changing.  Technology is giving us more control over the growing environment but is also creating more risk.  That’s why our industry’s health and safety practices must improve, so everyone goes home safely, every day.’ 

Help stop further spread of velvetleaf

When you’re out on your property this summer, check for velvetleaf, a weed that can drop as many as 17,000 seeds and compete against your crops for precious nutrients.  What looks a small problem can quickly become a much bigger one next season, if left unchecked.

Velvetleaf is an Unwanted Organism under the Biosecurity Act 1993. It can be found in almost any crop, but is of particular concern in maize. As growers often lease land that has previously grown maize, it’s important to be aware of velvetleaf and its impact on vegetable crops. 

Velvet weed can prevent the growth of other plants by competing for water, nutrients and light. Its seeds can lie dormant for up to 50 years and it can spread widely season after season. The weed is of particular concern in Auckland and Waikato.

So, what can you do?  Keep an eye out for velvetleaf, especially in headlands and areas where maize has been grown.  It has buttery yellow flowers, heart shaped leaves (velvety to the touch) and distinctive seedpods that turn black when mature. 

If you think you have found velvetleaf or have any concerns or questions, please email Sally Linton, Velvetleaf Community Outreach, North Island; or call 027 2781 620.  

Draft Waikato 2070 Plan

Waikato District Council is consulting on its draft Growth and Economic Development Strategy (Waikato 2070), which will guide the growth in the district over the next 50 years. 

The consultation document includes the vision 'Liveable, thriving, and connected communities' and identifies four focus areas for growth.  

Consultation closes on 17 January 2020. HortNZ will be making a submission on behalf of the industry.  If you would like to provide input, please email HortNZ Natural Resources and Environment Adviser, Jordyn Landers by 14 January 2020.  

For more info and to submit, click here

Weather over the next few months

New Zealand-based weather consultancy, Metris is predicting that the dry conditions over the upper half and east coast of the North Island will persist. These areas will be warmer than normal, particularly on the east coast.

The west coast of the South Island will continue to be wetter than normal while the east coast of the South Island is expected to be drier than normal and slightly warmer. The South Island and lower North Island are likely to be windier than normal.

Auckland, Northland, North Waikato, Bay of Plenty: Warmer and drier than normal.  

Horowhenua, Manawatu, Taranaki, Waitomo and Central Plateau: Slightly wetter and windier than normal.  

Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, Wairarapa, Marlborough, Canterbury: Drier and warmer than normal.  Wairarapa and further south will be windier than normal.

Southland, Coastal Otago: Slightly warmer and drier than normal.  Windier than normal.

Central Otago: Slightly wetter than normal.  Around normal temperatures but windier than normal.

Fjords, Glaciers, Westland, Buller and Nelson: Wetter and windier than normal.  Around normal temperatures.
In the media this week

Otago Daily Times: Primary exports set to keep on their roll

Stuff: New Zealand's orchards and vineyards grow on the backs of migrants

Otago Daily Times: Primary industries aiming to lead world in sustainability

New Zealand Herald: Hawke's Bay orchardist looks to change opinion on hail-damaged fruit

Stuff: One Plan change could be scrapped

Executive International Horticulture Immersion Programme (Exec IHIP)  

Are you wanting to immerse yourself in the whole horticulture value chain, from New Zealand to international markets?  Do you want to explore European models of industry innovation and capability development?  

If your answer is yes, then the Exec IHIP could be for you.  Applications close on 20 December 2019 for travel between 26 January and 8 February 2020.
Find out more here

Horticulture Conference 2020
- Save the date!

The 2020 Horticulture Conference will be at Mystery Creek on 29-31 July. More details will be announced early in the new year.
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