fbpx
Print this page
Wednesday, 14 August 2019 10:55

Technology to the fore

Written by  Peter Burke
Mike Chapman. Mike Chapman.

New technologies on the horizon were the focus of the recent Horticulture Conference 2019, says HortNZ chief executive Mike Chapman.

This was signalled in the theme ‘Our Food Future’. Chapman says attitude shifts overseas and in NZ present opportunities for the rapidly expanding industry. More and more people want and can afford a healthy diet, rich in plant based foods.

Despite the sector’s good outlook, there are major challenges ahead, such as retaining sufficient high quality land to grow crops, rather than seeing the land gobbled up by urban sprawl. 

Access to water and a skilled labour force are also essential ingredients for the future of the industry, Chapman notes.

Conference speakers talked about new technologies and consumer trends, and a large exhibit area enabled attendees to talk to companies developing new products.

“If you were a grower at this conference you would have gone away with new ideas and new robotic concepts to use in your business,” Chapman told Rural News

“The speakers and exhibitors were mixing with growers and talking about all sorts of robotic applications. We also had a good contingent from MPI talking to them about how we can integrate these robotic technologies.” 

Plenty of networking time was provided and the growers appreciated this, Chapman says.

More like this

Country’s backbone performs

New Zealand's primary sector has added steel to the country’s economy in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recently released report.

Taming Covid!

The horticulture industry has come out of the Covid-19 lockdown more resilient and with better people management skills.

Featured

Water reforms come at a cost

The government’s new freshwater laws, signed off this week, have the potential to create significant unnecessary costs for ratepayers, farmers and entire communities, Federated Farmers says.

2020 harvest yields up

Final harvest data for wheat, barley and oats (milling/malting and feed) in 2020 show yields were up 17% overall across the six crops.

 

Difficult but the right call

DairyNZ chief executive Dr Tim Mackle says the joint decision three years ago to eradicate Mycoplamsa bovis was a difficult call.

Milking cluster milks runner-up award

DeLaval has come away with the runner up prize in this year’s Fieldays Online innovation competition with a new milking cluster that eliminates the need for conventional liner changes.

Glow worms to cows

Thomas Lundman's work focus has gone from tracking tiny critters in pitch black caves to looking after considerably larger animals in paddocks near Whakatane.