Dec 15 2016

Monthly Update - December 2016

Conference 2017 – Save the Date!

The 2017 TomatoesNZ Inc. AGM and Conference will be held at the ASB Arena in Tauranga, on Wednesday 12th July, as part of The Horticulture Conference, 12th – 14th July with Horticulture NZ, Vegetables NZ Inc. and NZ Citrus Growers Inc.

We are working on bringing you an exciting programme and would love to hear from you if you have any ideas or suggestions.

Pest control work

We are running a project (in association with Plant & Food Research, AGMARDT, the VR&I Board and Vegetables NZ) trying out an on-farm test that assesses the susceptibility of insects to an agrichemical. This will be tried out on whitefly on tomatoes and psyllid on capsicums. The first-stage trials happened in November, and we are looking at holding workshops in Pukekohe and Christchurch in around March for others who are interested in learning the technique.

Market Access Solutionz have undertaken as assessment of potential new products for whitefly control in greenhouse vegetables. A priority list has been established and we plan to (jointly with Vegetables NZ) invest in generating trial data to assist the registration process of the top priority new agrichemicals.

We are also partners in two sustainable pest management projects: The first proposed project is a Sustainable Horticulture Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) project application,  was submitted in November. That project aims to develop sustainable pest and disease management for horticulture.

The second is the Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF) project to release and monitor the new Psyllid biocontrol agent, Tamarixia, which is getting underway this summer.  Since EPA approval to import and release Tamarixia earlier this year, an import permit has been issued to Plant & Food Research who will soon bring in Tamarixia from Koppert (a biocontrol agent provider) Mexico.  After checking its identity and health PFR scientists will begin to rear it ready for release into an outdoor site in Pukekohe this summer, Canterbury the following summer, and Hawkes Bay in year three. The project aims to establish self-sustaining populations of the parasitoid, and so will include monitoring of the establishment in each location. If self-sustaining populations are achieved, the hope is to over time reduce the pest pressure across all TPP host crops including indoor tomatoes.

Imports

There were few fresh tomato imports from Australia this winter, with only one third the volume of winter 2015 coming in. It seems that NZ growers have shifted their production schedules to better meet the domestic winter demand, which has closed some of the importers’ window. There was also a crop shortage in Australia after a storm destroyed much of the outdoor crop.

Exports

Japan added a new requirement for tomatoes and capsicums, to declare that the crop was grown at a site free from Tomato/Potato Psyllid (TPP) and that the consignment is TPP-free, which took effect in late November. TNZ worked with Market Access Solutions and MPI to update and adapt the Code of Practise for tomatoes to Australia (who require a similar declaration), which was accepted by MPI as meeting Japan’s new declaration requirements. The new CoP has been adopted by fresh tomato and capsicum exporters for the current season.

It’s tomato time

United Fresh, the promoters of “5+ A Day”, are promoting fresh tomatoes during Summer on their website and social media platforms.

You can follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by going to www.5aday.co.nz and clicking on the icons at the top of the screen