Your Levy at Work

The Orchardist - - Contents -


The threat of brown mar­morated stink bug (BMSB) at the bor­der has been at an all-time high this sum­mer and Hor­ti­cul­ture jew Zealand’s biose­cu­rity man­ager Richard Palmer has been busy rep­re­sent­ing grow­ers’ in­ter­ests in the fight against this bug tak­ing hold. He has been talk­ing about bio­con­trols like the samu­rai wasp be­ing pre­pared in case of a BMSB in­cur­sion, and this has re­ceived sig­nif­i­cant me­dia and pub­lic at­ten­tion.

shile known high-risk path­ways like ve­hi­cles from the US are un­der strict con­trol, the de­tec­tions of BMSB are com­ing from an in­creas­ing num­ber of coun­tries, across a broad range of im­ported goods. For­tu­nately many ship­ping lines, im­porters and tran­si­tional fa­cil­i­ties are be­ing proac­tive to mit­i­gate the risk of BMSB es­tab­lish­ment. Hort NZ re­minds all grow­ers to check their ma­chin­ery and im­ports in case of BMSB stow­aways.

Richard Palmer and Process Veg­eta­bles NZ chair David Had­field have been to the Wairarapa to hear about the pea wee­vil re­sponse first-hand. At the Foun­da­tion for Arable Re­search field day in Fe­bru­ary, Min­istry for Pri­mary In­dus­tries (MPI) staff briefed grow­ers about the progress made in at­tract­ing wee­vils to the trap crops, then de­stroy­ing those crops along with the wee­vils. Key risks to the quar­an­tine project are any back­yard peas grow­ing that might pro­vide habi­tat for pea wee­vils, and the in­tro­duc­tion of pea straw which again may pro­duce peas from resid­ual seed. Hort NZ re­minds grow­ers that any ben­e­fits gained from these ac­tions will be far out­weighed by the dev­as­tat­ing ef­fects that the pea wee­vil will have on long term pro­duc­tion of the crop in jew Zealand. For ev­ery sea­son there are peas for the wee­vil to re­pro­duce, the re­sponse will have to be­gin again, ex­tend­ing the ban out an­other two years.

If you are aware of peas grow­ing in the Con­trolled Area, please call MPI on 0800 80 99 66. All calls are con­fi­den­tial.


Hort NZ has been ac­tively in­volved in look­ing at work­force needs in the Gis­borne area and has sup­ported lo­cal in­dus­try lead­ers ask­ing for a hor­ti­cul­ture work­force strat­egy, a co-or­di­na­tor for the re­gion, and in­te­grated em­ploy­ment and train­ing ini­tia­tives for per­ma­nent and sea­sonal work­ers. se es­ti­mate about 1,2LL more peo­ple will be re­quired in the next three to five years for pro­duc­tion, re­lated pro­cess­ing, and as­so­ci­ated ser­vices. So it was good news when, at the end of Fe­bru­ary, the Gov­ern­ment an­nounced fund­ing of $1.8 mil­lion to grow the skills and ca­pa­bil­ity of the re­gional labour force. Sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fits to hor­ti­cul­ture in­clude ini­tia­tives such as sup­port­ing work­ers to get driver and truck driver li­cences, sup­port­ing the sea­sonal labour force, and $150,000 to­wards a co­or­di­na­tor in the hor­ti­cul­ture sec­tor.

In Fe­bru­ary the Hort NZ Board and chief ex­ec­u­tive Mike Chapman vis­ited grow­ers in the Horowhenua area to get a feel for their is­sues and where Hort NZ can ad­vo­cate to help. These vis­its are enor­mously valu­able for the Board and chief ex­ec­u­tive and en­able them to fo­cus Hort NZ re­sources on the big is­sues.


In Fe­bru­ary, arin Atkin­son of Apata Group Lim­ited in Te Puke was named Bay of Plenty’s Young Fruit Grower for 2017. arin, 29, won the in­di­vid­ual chal­lenges in both biose­cu­rity and or­chard trac­tor pro­fi­ciency, and is the first woman to take the ti­tle since the com­pe­ti­tion be­gan in 2LL7.

“It didn’t re­ally sink in that I’d won un­til the next day”, arin said. “It’s pretty awe­some to be the first fe­male to win in so long, I’m a real ad­vo­cate for women in hor­ti­cul­ture so it's great to rep­re­sent.”

Danni van der Hei­j­den from Trevelyan’s Pack & Cool was the run­ner-up, and Aaron

Wright of East Pack came in third.

Hort NZ runs the na­tional Young Grower

of the Year com­pe­ti­tion and arin has won

Bay of Plenty Young Grower of the Year fi­nal­ists, from left: Aaron Wright, Danni Van Der Hei­j­den, Erin Atkin­son, Hamish Mckain, Nikesh Gu­rung, and Ho­hepa Tatana. Even­tual win­ner Erin is pro­filed on pages 24 - 26.

29-year-old BoP Young Grower win­ner Erin Atkin­son.

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