Research priorities are managed by the Fresh Tomato Product Group Research and Development Committee. Close to $200,000 is put towards identified key research hand development projects. R&D Subcommittee members are Wim Zwart, Neil Yearbury, Shaun Brannigan and Jason Culbert
A NIWA project funded by the Product Group to remove nitrate from waste nutrient solution. The trial plant is in operation (considerable work has been put in to its construction). It has used a lot of methanol and construction of a plant material anaerobic digester is being completed. Using plant material as a carbon source should negate the need for the methanol.
This Technolutionz Ltd project, jointly funded by MAF’s SFF, the Product Group & others has been completed. A copy of the final report containing much good advice and tips on the best management of energy has been sent out to growers.
This SFF, Product Group, Veg-Gro Supplies funded project is drawing to a close. The two main outcomes: CropRecord (a spreadsheet for recording and processing crop data) and CropAdvice (a web-like support system for CropRecord) are about to be completed and will be made available to growers.
This new project is gathering considerable momentum after a cautious start. This SFF project is also being funded in a large part by both the Fresh Tomato and Fresh Vegetable Product Groups. There several working groups that include growers & other industry representatives as well as strong science involvement.
By mid 2007 expect to see the first draft of the Resistance Management Strategy, the survey results of new insect incursions compiled and analysed, along with temperature effect models, CO2 and light use identified analysed and the desktop evaluation of new biologicals and chemicals completed.
This small SFF/ Product Group funded project has experienced some equipment delays. It is now expected to be completed this spring/early summer 2007.
Two small MAF Sustainable Farming Fund grants have been achieved for two new projects; i.e. "Documenting new procedures for Whitefly Control (in NZ Greenhouses under Integrated Crop Management practices)" to be managed by Dr Bill Bussell, Unitec and "Resource Inventory and Carbon Footprint for Greenhouse Tomatoes and Capsicums". This project will be undertaken by Andrew Barber from AgriLINK NZ Ltd.