Aug 09 2021

August update

Pepino mosaic virus on tomatoes update

Given the highly transmissible nature of the Pepino Mosaic Virus (PepMV), industry and MPI have agreed that eradication is not possible. We are now looking at long term management options. Aspects being considered include:

  • Supporting the implementation of farm biosecurity measures (greenhouse hygiene).
  • Reducing the chances of spread via vectors such as crates.
  • Further surveillance to determine the distribution of the virus, and research to understand the impact.
  • Exploring the option of using a PepMV “vaccine” to minimise crop damage.

In the meantime it is important that all tomato growers:

  • Have good biosecurity cleanliness measures at all stages of crop production. See the TomatoesNZ glasshouse hygiene poster for more information on this.
  • If possible, assign workers their own PPE, tools, carts etc and restrict these to single glasshouses or glasshouse sections/compartments.
  • Restrict access to your crop – do not allow visitors.
  • Keep a close eye on your crop and familiarise yourself with the virus symptoms.  Information on the symptoms is available from us, including a poster on the virus.
  • If you think you’ve found signs of PepMV, immediately contact Biosecurity New Zealand through its freephone: 0800 80 99 66.

Energy efficiency articles

Last year we arranged for greenhouse specialist, Elly Nederhoff, to update a series of energy efficiency articles for greenhouse growers that she originally developed during a project called ‘Improving Energy Efficiency in Greenhouse Vegetable Production’.

There are now ten updated articles in the series published monthly in NZ Grower from October 2020.  These are also available  to download here.

The articles are titled:

  • Energy efficiency in greenhouses
  • Greenhouse climate physics
  • Humidity control
  • Energy wise humidity control
  • Plant empowerment
  • Humidity control in GPE approach
  • Temperature effects on plants
  • Light balance
  • Greenhouse temperature
  • Climate Control

Growers have told us that they have found these articles helpful and informative, so we think it will be worthwhile adding a few more articles on this subject.  We are also looking at putting together an e-book grouping the topics so it is easy to read and reference back to.   If there are other areas you would like to see in this series please let us know.

TomatoesNZ Board

As we did not receive any nominations to the board prior to the 2021 AGM, the two current members who retired by rotation, Callum Grant from Kakanui and Albert Shih from Christchurch,  have been re-elected.  Thus, we are pleased to confirm members of the TomatoesNZ Board for 2021-22 are:

  • Barry O’Neil - Independent Chairman 
  • Simon Watson - Vice Chair, Grower Representative, NZ Hothouse, Drury 
  • Anthony Tringham - Grower Representative, Curious Croppers, Clevedon 
  • Albert Shih - Grower Representative, Vege Fresh Growers Ltd, Christchurch 
  • Callum Grant - Grower Representative, Kakanui Tomatoes Ltd, Oamaru 
  • Mayank Saklani - Grower Representative, Wing Shing Farms, Papakura 
  • Pierre Garguilo - Co-opted Member, JS Ewers, Nelson 
  • Ben Smith - Co-opted Member, T&G Fresh Auckland 
  • Stefan Vogrincic- Co-opted Member, Grower2Grower, Karaka 
  • Roelf Schreuder – Co-opted member, NZ Gourmet 
  • Andrew Hutchinson - Observer, T&G Fresh, Auckland 
  • Allen Lim - Observer, Director of Vegetables NZ Inc & member Covered Crops Advisory Group, Jade Gardens, Christchurch 

There is currently one vacancy for an elected board member.  If you are a tomato grower interested in joining the board or would just like to come and observe the next board meeting, please get in touch with me to find out more.