May 27 2024

April news

A very rewarding part of my job is getting out to meet growers. It is only by seeing and hearing first hand about the problems that you’re facing, can I advocate on the issues that are important to you. As such, I am looking forward to meeting those of you that can make it to the following event:


Thursday 8th August @12-5pm Pukekohe (with travel subsidy available). TomatoesNZ is pleased to invite all growers to their mini conference and AGM. An exciting line up of discussion panels and presenters will be part of this day. There is a travel subsidy available for TNZ growers outside the Auckland region. Please contact as soon as possible for more information and to make use of cheaper airfares.

If you can’t get to these events, please feel free to contact me to arrange a chat

Update on TomatoesNZ / Bioforce / A Lighter Touch project

Some of the key messaging coming out of the TomatoesNZ / Bioforce / A Lighter Touch project on beneficial insects includes the following:

Talk to your beneficial insect supplier as soon as you have a date for planting to ensure they have supply of the good bugs that you want, when you want them.

Ask the nursery supplying your plants not to use chemicals. This will affect the ability of your beneficial insects to survive.

For beneficial insects to survive, they need some pests to eat, which requires a change of mindset if you think zero pests is the desirable outcome. Maintaining a balance between enough pests to feed the beneficial insects and too many pests to cause crop damage is really important and something you should talk to your supplier about.

Chemical use will likely kill your beneficial pests and there will always be a withholding period before they can be reintroduced. Talk to your supplier BEFORE you use sprays to ensure you maintain a healthy population of beneficial insects while also keeping pests below the desirable threshold.

Finally, TomatoesNZ wants to thank the Horticentre for organising a special workshop last month for Korean growers, simultaneously translated by TNZ board director Jiny Kim. The topics covered were hygiene, nutrition and disease and the feedback from the growers has been really positive with everyone being able to take their learnings back to their greenhouses and immediately putting their new knowledge to good use. The Horticentre willingly gave their time for free and knowledge for free and TomatoesNZ is extremely grateful for this.