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15 August 2019

Pheromone trapping service

It’s that time of the year! Pipfruit growers need to start thinking about pheromone trapping and registering your blocks with Apple and Pear NZ, for Codling Moth sensitive markets during August. 

Pipfruit growers should firstly identify any production sites which may have fallen into the high-risk category. It is important to identify those sites now so pheromone dispensers can be pre-ordered through your Fruitfed Supplies representative or store.

All registered high-risk production sites under the Official Assurance Programme (OAP) for codling moth (Cydia pomonella) must be monitored by an accredited Pest Surveyor, so it’s important that pipfruit growers contact our crop monitoring team to register their production site for the season. The trap surveyor will put a plan in place to position traps on the orchard maps within the high-risk production site, input trap information into Fruitfed Supplies Tracit database and send all trap information to Apple and Pear NZ before 1 September. 

The Crop Monitoring Service (CMS) has seen a big jump in growers registering for the Pheromone Trapping Service. CMS can take the pain and pressure away from the growers and take care of trap placement; weekly trap reading; compliance around audits and data capture. Once growers are on board with the service, they realise the benefits quickly. 

Fruitfed CMS has developed a seamless reporting system, utilising a scout field app to capture data in the field and a database (Tracit) which correlates the data. This is then fully automated to disseminate reports to the growers within minutes of the information having been captured in the field. All trap data is then sent to Apple and Pear NZ database without the growers having to re-enter data twice.

If you would like to sign up or have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact your Crop Monitoring Coordinator or your Fruitfed Supplies Technical Horticultural Representative. Quote packages can be put together for clients. 

Related Articles

Pest control goes digital

01 August 2019

Rats can cause significant damage on farms, lifestyle blocks, and orchards, gnawing on wiring and getting into animal feed, so controlling them matters. 

Goodnature is launching their latest trapping innovation, Chirp, a digitally enabled trap that can be retrofitted to any existing Goodnature A24 Rat and Stoat Trap. Once installed, and after downloading the Goodnature App, trappers will get smartphone notifications via Bluetooth™ every time the trap kills a pest, as well as when it is time for a new gas canister or lure.

The A24 Rat and Stoat Trap has been popular in the rural sector for over a decade, known as a reliable tool to keep rat populations controlled. The A24 is a carbon dioxide powered, humane rat and stoat trap, which has a range of valuable features:

  • Automatic resetting saves time 
    The A24 automatically resets up to 24 times, killing rats and stoats one after the other, and reducing the need to check traps from monthly down to just twice a year. The latest Chirp functionality gives A24 customers even greater oversight of their trapping operation in real time on their phone. Efficiently and humanely disposing of 24 rats per trap without having to manually reset is a valuable time and money saver.
  • The A24 traps are non-toxic
    The lure used in A24s is non-toxic, so there is no threat to livestock or pets, and can be set in cow sheds. Working dogs and pets won’t be exposed to poisoned pest carcasses, as the risk of secondary poisoning, is eliminated. 
  • Keep connected and know when the Chirp-enabled trap has been activated.  
    Chirp has been designed to keep trapping on track. Chirp connects the A24 to smartphones via the Goodnature App. Being automatically notified when traps have been triggered helps trappers know how many pests have been killed. With scavenging of dead pests common, Chirp makes the unknown, known.
  • Be notified when the trap’s lure and gas canister need replacing.
    Knowing when traps are low on lure and gas is key to keeping trap networks operational at all times. Given the minimal servicing needs of an A24 trap, it is easy to lose track of when a trap needs new gas and lure. Chirp does the tracking automatically and helpfully sends reminders when it is time to re-gas, and re-lure Chirp-enabled traps. 

Chirp is being launched in PGG Wrightson stores across New Zealand in August. There will be both Chirp retrofit kits and fully enabled Chirp A24 kits as well. Visit your local PGG Wrightson store today to find out more.

Supplied by Goodnature

Preparing your spring vege patch

01 September 2019

As the days get longer and the soil starts to warm, it is time to dig out your garden gloves and get busy in the garden. Whether yours is a dedicated vege garden or a spot with a few crops in pots and containers, the time is right to prepare your soil, sow seeds, plant seedlings and begin this year’s journey up the garden path. 

Before you plant your chosen spring crops, it is important to ensure that your soil is in the right condition so that your plants get off to the best possible start. If you are starting with an existing garden bed dig in organic matter to your soil such as Tui Compost and Tui Blood & Bone. The addition of Tui Compost will replenish your soil with nutrients used during the growing season as well as help break up heavy or clay soil; improve drainage in compacted soil; and increase water holding capacity in sandy soil. Tui Blood & Bone is an essential garden ingredient that will promote healthy plant growth so your garden can perform at its peak. Adding blood & bone to your garden will provide a natural source of nitrogen for healthy plant growth, and phosphorus for strong root development. Both will also increase microbial activity and encourage earthworms. Once you have dug in the compost and blood & bone, add a layer of Tui Vegetable Mix, a high quality natural-based planting mix to provide your veges with the best possible start and sustained growth throughout the season.

Some spring favourites to plant include, lettuce, capsicum, tomatoes, parsley, courgette and cucumber or for cooler areas of the country carrots, broccoli, herbs, spring onions, beetroot, broad beans, leeks and silverbeet. If you are not sure what to plant, a good rule of thumb is to check out what is available at your local garden centre as that should reflect what is suitable to plant in your area. If you are a first-time gardener you may find it easier to grow from seedlings, rather than seed, although seeds can be a more economical option. If you are sowing vegetables from seed, you’ll need to plan ahead, to make sure they are ready to plant when you want to. Generally speaking, the best times to plant are early in the morning or late in the day, so your plants aren’t exposed to the hot sun straight away. It is important to remember to water your plants well before and after planting to help them get settled in their new patch. 

As plants grow they use up nutrients from the soil, so replenishing those nutrients ensures your plants will grow to their full potential. Veges can be particularly hungry crops, so feeding them every four weeks during the growing season will help ensure you maximise your crops. A well watered, well nourished vegetable garden will have a better chance of keeping insect pests and diseases at bay. 
Spring is a great time to start getting your piece of paradise prepped for summer BBQs. Liven up your deck or patio with some potted colour and use Tui All Purpose Potting Mix, which is specially formulated to give the best start to your indoor and outdoor plants in pots, containers and hanging baskets. 

Pop into your local PGG Wrightson store to view the full range of Tui products today. Happy Gardening!

Supplied by Tui Products

Community connections

11 September 2019

The Wymer name is well respected in the Franklin district thanks to the family’s strong market gardening connections and their extensive support of local events such as the Vintage Harvest Festival run in conjunction with the Glenbrook Vintage Railway, which is just over the road from the family farm.

Murray Wymer says his family started market gardening in 1904 with 100 acres near Sylvia Park. The family moved to the 130 ha Glenbrook property in 1914 with three generations involved – Murray’s father Norman, grandfather Ron and great-grandfather Isaac Junior. Murray now runs the family’s business, RC Wymer Limited, established by his grandfather in the early ‘60s, and says his young sons are also keen on farming. “Over the years, we’ve grown all sorts from kiwifruit to kumara, pumpkins, potatoes, onions, wheat, barley, peas, cabbages,” Murray explains. “For now, we are focused on onions, growing around 80 ha a year, plus barley for feed grain, maize for silage and grain, and grass for cattle, giving us a rotation of about five years before a paddock goes back  into onions.

We swap land with Peter and Murray Aarts of Sundale Farms in Pukekawa for them to grow broccoli and potatoes so some  home farm blocks have had about 10 years between onion crops.” The  Wymer family own half of the export business, Produce Agencies, and Murray says changes in export potato returns  influenced his decision to focus on onions. “We export 95% of our onions, growing a range of varieties to spread risk with both the growing cycle and market pricing.  Due to health and safety considerations, we’ve moved away from hand-harvested early varieties. Everything we grow is machine harvested.”

Machinery, especially vintage, plays a key part in Murray’s life and was an interest he shared with Norman, who passed away three years ago. Murray enjoys restoring various pieces of farm equipment. “We still use some of it on the odd occasion; it’s great not to just leave it in the shed.”

The Vintage Harvest Festival is hosted on the Wymer’s farm every second March in association with the Glenbrook Vintage Railway. “We try and help where we can, and enjoy our involvement. It’s important to keep this heritage alive, because once it goes, we’ll never get it back again." The Wymer’s links to Fruitfed Supplies also go back a few years and include hosting trial sites for the Technical Team’s Research and Development trial work, something Murray says is important. “We host seed trials too as these trials help all growers and our future in the industry.

Their Fruitfed Supplies Technical Horticultural Representative, Jesse Clark, is heading into his third season of onion agronomy with Murray. Jesse is involved with weekly crop walks to identify potential pest and disease issues and discuss the best crop management product options. He also takes the soil and leaf test samples and reviews the results with Murray to plan bulk and  foliar fertiliser programmes.

“Jesse has his own family market gardening history as I know his grandfather who grew potatoes in Hawke’s Bay,” says Murray. “The good thing about Jesse is that he’ll ask advice from guys who’ve been doing it longer if he needs to.”

A member of Onions NZ, Murray adds that he is constantly assessing the market for other crops. “We may not stay exclusively in onions. The export market is getting smaller, as the quality, yield and storage capabilities of European crops improves. Developing countries are also getting more yield because they’re using Western products and seeds. So we keep our options open.”

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