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February 2020 Edition Issue No. 3

GROWING SUCCESS Welcome to the latest edition of Growing Success. I hope you enjoy reading the articles focused on new technical products and practices. It’s fair to say that no-one can tell us exactly what the future holds. Having said that, it’s obvious that environmental compliance, labour constraints, biosecurity threats, consumer demands and social licence to operate will likely all feature strongly in the horticulture industry of the future. Another aspect that most of us agree on, is that technology is playing an ever-increasing role in our lives and businesses. Immediate access to information and data to aid rapid decision-making is increasingly in demand. Therefore, I hope you enjoy reading about the market leading Farmlands GrowGuide app. We’re very proud to bring this innovative technology to the New Zealand horticulture and agriculture industries.

We were very pleased to welcome Andy Davis to our horticulture team back in July. As Technical Leader — Pip and Stone Fruit, based in Whakatu Hawke’s Bay, Andy has national responsibility for all technical aspects of pip and stone fruit. This includes supporting Farmlands team members and shareholders operating in this sector. Operating at a high level within the industry for over 15 years, Andy is regarded as a leader in technical growing circles. Some of you may have already come across Andy in recent months as he regularly works with our teams and growers in Hawke’s Bay, Gisborne, Tasman and Central Otago. We were equally pleased to welcome back Mike Annand as leader of the horticulture team in Hawke’s Bay/ Gisborne in November. Best wishes for the harvest period that’s soon approaching for many of you.

Mark Daniels General Manager – Farmlands Horticulture


www.farmlands.co.nz | 0800 200 600


Revolutionary Information at Your Fingertips Farmlands is proud to have released GrowGuide. Developed from the original Seed Buyers Guide App, GrowGuide is the latest one-stop app for information on horticulture, pasture and cropping requirements. With a comprehensive database of primary farm and orchard inputs, the app is a revolutionary new tool that makes it easier for farmers, growers and field staff to access information crucial to a profitable operation.

GrowGuide has extensive information on:

Find seed information by species, type and cultivar.

Important to wine grape growers is the Farmlands Grape Health Programme. This innovative new tool provides a crop programme at your fingertips, driven off the user’s selection of grape growth stage and the pest, weeds or disease concerned. The programme allows you to quickly drill-down to product information, labels and safety data sheets, saving you time searching out product specifics. Farmlands strongly encourages every grape grower to download this free app.

Calculate sowing rates (kg/ha) and total required.

See the number of days between harvest and planting for maize crops.

Easily select the maize hybrids best suited to your situation by desired planting and harvest dates by region

Look out for the apple and kiwifruit crop health programmes that are coming soon. The app works off a centralised cloud database allowing it to be automatically updated with the latest information, such as horticulture crop programmes, new seed varieties, crop protection products, crop programmes or safety information. The GrowGuide app also works without internet coverage giving you the ability to use calculators and identify pests or weeds on the go when you’re out of wireless or network range. The app will automatically sync new product information from the GrowGuide database when you’re back in range.


Crop Protection •

Browse product information by crop type and category.

Easily access haznotes, labels and SDS sheets.

Quickly create order enquires.


Fertiliser •

Search product information, labels and safety information by crop type.

Access the latest information on soil testing and soil management.

Crop Health Programmes •

Grape Program - out now!

Kiwifruit and apple programmes coming soon.


Essential Post-Harvest Nutrition for Apples Harvest is over, the last apple is off the tree and you think the season is finished! But it’s not over just yet, there are a few vital jobs to tick off before a beach holiday beckons. Immediately post-harvest is arguably one of the most valuable times for tree nutrition in high performing apple blocks and this is your first opportunity to begin next season’s nutrition programme. Physiologically, there are extremely important processes occurring once the crop has been removed. In preparing for next season, a root flush occurs enabling the tree to source nutrients and carbohydrates. Prior to leaf senescence and leaf fall, the tree begins to draw nutrients back into the bud. Zinc and boron are two micronutrients in the tree that can be influenced through post-harvest foliar applications. They are essential for early bud development, fruit set and fruit formation. Applying post-harvest foliar zinc and boron products such as Trace-it Zinc Chelate and Trace-it Boron loads the buds with these micro-nutrients. This ensures that next season’s buds are replenished, strengthened and set for spring. Macro-nutrients such as magnesium and nitrogen are also important post-

harvest. Most apple varieties have high magnesium demands requiring foliar applications during the growing season, post-harvest and winter ground applications. It is critical to replenish these macro-nutrient reserves which are essential components in chlorophyll production and photosynthesis. Foliar applications of Gro-Mag Super will provide essential zinc, boron and magnesium to the tree. Post-harvest nitrogen is often overlooked due to concerns with excessive growth in spring or soft fruit at harvest. Of all post-harvest nutrient applications, nitrogen will provide the highest yield responses, being vital for floral bud viability and fruit set. Many varieties are now kept in a deficit situation leading up to harvest to enhance colour and control growth. However, to ensure consistent sustainable yields it is essential to ensure that nitrogen is replaced using foliar applications with products such as Farm Safe N40 and ground applications if required. When considering post-harvest nutrition inputs use leaf-test results from during the growing season to ensure a full picture of tree requirements. Testing is the road map for responding to a

trees nutritional demands. Growers will be flying blind without leaf testing, so consider the season. Was it hot and dry, excessively wet, or were conditions ideal for growing apples? Each of these climatic conditions will influence post-harvest nutritional requirements. Doing the same thing at the end of every season is not the ideal approach. In some seasons this may not meet tree requirements, while in others it may result in excessive applications. Always ensure that foliar nutrition is applied immediately after harvest while the leaf is still healthy and in good condition. If the leaf is yellow and starting to drop, it’s too late to apply foliar nutrition. The potential of next season is often determined by the activities occurring immediately post-harvest. Nutrition very much sits at the top of this list. For further advice and product recommendations contact your Farmlands Technical Advisor. Time for that beach holiday now? Absolutely, you deserve it! Article supplied by Andy Davis, Technical Leader – Pip & Stone Fruit Farmlands.



Potassium – Key to Kiwifruit Growing Success It’s generally regarded that potassium and nitrogen are the most important nutrients required by the kiwifruit vine. They’re required in relatively high volumes from the development of the canopy, right through the fruit development process. Unlike other important nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and sulphur, both potassium and nitrogen accumulate in significant quantities in the fruit. Therefore, relatively large volumes of both are required to be applied to the crop in the form of fertilisers. This article highlights the critical importance of potassium applications to kiwifruit in the late season through to the pre-harvest period. Potassium is known to have an important role in regulating the opening of stomata, sugar and nutrient transportation and the regulation of photosynthesis. In addition, potassium serves a critical role in kiwifruit dry matter development. Given that dry matter levels are linked to grower payments this should be of considerable interest to growers wishing to optimise


orchard gate returns. Importantly, potassium also influences the brix, colour and size of the finished fruit. Given the relatively large quantities of potassium required by the kiwifruit vine over a broad window, a comprehensive nutrition programme should include foliar potassium applications in addition to programmed solid fertiliser applications. To optimise the use of fertiliser by the plant and absolutely reduce the risk of soil nutrient-leaching, it’s recommended that both soil and leaf testing be used to establish the fertiliser requirements for all kiwifruit blocks. While individual test results provide a single snapshot of soil or plant nutrient levels, greater value is derived by observing trends of test results over time and understanding the effects of fertiliser applications. There are some high-quality foliar potassium products available to kiwifruit growers wishing to optimise fruit attributes. A staple foliar potassium product for many years is the Grochem product Finish It, recently rebranded as Kiwi Finish. This excellent product also contains chloride. While high levels of chloride

in water and soils can be damaging, kiwifruit plants require 2-6g/kg of dry weight in the leaves in order to maintain healthy growth. Kiwi Finish supplies this chloride in small safe amounts maintaining healthy plant development. The Biolchim product K Bomber Kiwi has been designed specifically for the New Zealand kiwifruit industry. Despite its high concentration of potassium, it is fully soluble and ready for nutrient assimilation into the plant. Quick penetration into the leaf is ensured through the action of the potassium citrate and EDTA in the formulation. The use of late season potassium products should be considered as part of a comprehensive annual crop nutrition plan. Without a considered, balanced and analytical approach, potassium products alone won’t achieve desired crop outcomes. Talk to your local Farmland Technical Adviser about a tailored nutrition programme for your valuable kiwifruit crop. Article supplied by Farmlands.


Grapevine Pruning Revisited Marlborough vineyards are potentially and unknowingly being struck with trunk disease due to various management practices over the last 30 years. due to various management practices over the last 30 years. The result in some cases has necessitated the premature replanting of grapevines. Current pruning techniques result in a “randomisation” of many cuts to the plant structure and often include very large cuts being made to control growth. This increases the risk of pathogens entering the plant potentially leading to premature vine decline. The Farmlands viticulture team has recognised that improved pruning and canopy management techniques will improve economic longevity of vines, a subject regularly discussed with our grape growing shareholders. Keeping innovative concepts in front of shareholders, Farmlands has formed a partnership with the Italian training and consultancy company Simonit & Sirch, known in the international viticulture scene as the “Pruning Guys”. They have spent over 30 years researching

improvements to vine health and longevity. They focus on winter pruning and spring shoot thinning to ensure unimpeded vine sap flow at all times. In August 2019 Farmlands’ Technical Leader Mart Verstappen organised a workshop and pruning demonstration in Marlborough by Simonit & Sirch’s master pruner Mia Fischer. There was very strong interest in this event with tickets sold out in short order. Simonit & Sirch focus on optimising the vine’s vascular system and therefore reducing trunk disease pressure. Key focuses are the type and quality of winter pruning wound, spring shoot thinning and the selection of retained shoots for the growing season, which then links through to the following winter’s pruning strategy. The Simonit & Sirch method will result in: •

An optimised balance of productive vs vegetative growth

Even budding and shoot development

Improved lignification resulting in more uniform ripening

Increased resistance to seasonal stresses

Extending the aging potential and productive lifespan of the vines

Avoiding premature vine removal, subsequent replanting costs and lost production

The adoption of these practices will result in a totally new approach to pruning, with a reduced number of cuts and faster winter pruning and spring shoot thinning. Adapting the current Marlborough pruning style will of course require a change in mindset but can begin with an open-minded approach to vine culture, a consideration of the possible desirable outcome and then how it can be achieved. Implementing the new model will take time and will

| Farmlands Pruning Demonstration Event Marlborough

also require regionally specific work to investigate different varietal needs. Farmlands, Lincoln University and Simonit & Sirch are currently collaborating to set up several trial sites in Marlborough. The trials will compare conventional pruning and canopy techniques to the Simonit & Sirch method on both cane and cordon pruned blocks. Emphasis on future training and education of the labour force of the Simonit & Sirch method will be imperative but challenging given the large scale of the industry. Farmlands is currently working with Simonit & Sirch to plan pruning school courses for late in the 2019/20 growing season. Article supplied by Mart Verstappen Technical Leader – Viticulture Farmlands



The DAWN of a new age in Slug and Snail control. There is growing international interest in softer product options for the control of invasive slug and snail pests. The Grey Field Slug, Deroceras reticulatum, is considered the most significant species of slug in terms of damage in horticultural crops. Slugs are found across all regions in New Zealand and can be active throughout the full year. Ecolibrium Biologicals via its exclusive partner Farmlands have released to the market Slug-em and Dawn, two uniquely formulated products which provide genuine cost effective, efficacious molluscicide options. Slug-em is a fast-acting, convenient liquid formulation containing natural tea saponin extracts. Slug-em has an excellent safety profile and has no withholding period. The product can be sprayed at all stages of crop growth, from emergence until the day of harvest. Slug-em is a natural surfactant and is compatible with commonly used pesticides and can be applied using conventional spraying equipment. It works by removing the slime layer from molluscs and leads to rapid dehydration and death. It also provides a strong repellence and anti-feeding action of sprayed plant parts. Slug-em is applied at rates from two to five litres per hectare. Dawn is a high-performance slug and snail pellet with a unique coating process. The pellet contains iron which is bound


into a complex. These convenient pellets are ballistically superior while withholding weather and microbial degradation better than extruded baits and do not bridge in hoppers during application. Each formulated Dawn granule contains enough active ingredient to kill one slug and any uneaten granules eventually break down releasing iron, magnesium and calcium into the ground as plant available nutrients. Dawn is applied at rates from 10–15 kg per hectare. A combination of Slug-em and Dawn: Slug-em has powerful repellency and anti-feeding properties, so by spraying the foliage as well as the ground, the extended coverage area will repel slugs and snails from the sprayed area entirely. Growers are successfully using a combination of the two products by spreading Dawn around crop headlands and then spraying the crop with Slugem. This approach drives the slugs and snails which have not been immediately compromised, out of the sprayed area due to the repellency action of Slug-em. Once in the headland area they then find and consume Dawn. This combination of Slugem and Dawn has proven highly effective. For further information please contact your local Farmlands store or contact Ecolibrium Biologicals’ representative, Lisa Lewis on 09 963 1834. Article supplied by Ecolibrium Biologicals.


Critical Varroa Treatment Period Approaching

Modeling of the development of various populations throughout the season

There are two main objectives to late summer/autumn varroa treatment: To limit the level of infestation in order to avoid the collapse of heavily infested hives.


To reduce varroa levels in colonies prior to wintering in order to have healthier winter bees and to begin the following season with low varroa levels in hives. To have healthy winter bees, it is important to reduce the number of varroa on the nurse bees of the winter population. It is therefore important to treat as soon as possible after the removal of honey supers.

During heavy varroa infestations, the later the treatment, the greater the period during which varroa causes damage to the hive. While delaying treatment may make it possible to eliminate most of the varroa, it may not overcome the effects of varroa on bees prior to treatment. Early treatment will prevent levels of infestation that could otherwise see hives not survive winter. Early treatment will also help the colony get off to a relatively good start the following season.

Wor ker bro od



Massive transfer of parasitism from the male brood to the future worker brood of winter bees.

Adult b e


Var roa

! Drone brood



Optimal treatment period before placement of supers



Optimal treatment period after removal of supers

Best practise tips for varroa treatment control:

to promote as much contact as possible. The strips must be placed While the bee population and the brood decrease at the end of the summer, the number at least one or two frames apart. 1. ofRotation managessignificant resistance Varroa remains as -long as brood remains. Parasitic stress is at its most critical during the months of August through October. alternate treatments (and chemical 4. Treat all hives at the same time: Adult groups) between spring and autumn attach to adult August through October is a dangerous time forvarroa a colony thatthemselves has not been treated or been(Amitraz) inadequately treated, as several phenomena occur: i.e.has Apivar & Bayvarol bees and are transferred to new (Flumethrin), or vice versa. hives whenever hives are robbed, • Varroa levels rise during the fall as honey bee brood increases . when males migrate from one hive to 2. Always follow label instructions: Use • Resumption of worker-brood production linked toanother late-season flows (ivy…). and pollen when pollen is gathered the full recommended dose for the foraging bees. This migration may treatment period Apivar: two later in theby • full Steep reduction in thei.e. raising of drones fall, which causes a transfer of Varroa from the to the worker brood infest highly a hive infested that hasfall previously been strips per drone broodbrood chamber forworker six-tenbrood. This more will emerge to serve as the colony’s winter bees. healthy. To prevent this, check your weeks and Bayvarol: four strips per hives regularly and always treat all of • brood Progressive drop in the number of bees in the colony, and the emergence of winter bees, chamber for six-eight weeks. whose good health is vital for successful wintering. them at the same time. Using the recommended dosage 9

will maximize bee contacts and eliminate a significant proportion of varroa. Always remove strips at the end of the treatment period and do not reuse them. Underdosing and/ or leaving strips in hives beyond their recommended treatment period could result in the development of resistant strains of varroa 3.

Correct positioning of strips: The effectiveness of the treatment is related to bee contact with treatment strips and the bees transporting the active ingredient into the hive. It is therefore essential to position the strips vertically at the heart of the brood area or the bee cluster

5. Check strip positions during treatment: Repositioning of the strips and scratching them during treatment can improve efficacy. Brood areas can shift slowly within the hive, so it is important to ensure that treatment strips remain near the brood. If possible, strips should be checked halfway through the treatment period. If bees apply propolis or beeswax to the strips, scratch with a hive tool and reposition the strips into the bee cluster. Article supplied by NZ Beeswax Ltd.


TAKE THE GUESSWORK OUT OF CROP MANAGEMENT Farmlands’ expert team of Technical Advisors are on hand to help you make the most out of your crop this year. Our unbiased technical advice and support will help you manage the mayhem and reap the rewards through: • Delivering the latest products and technology • Crop health and spray programs • Advice and support all year round

Talk to your local Farmlands Technical Advisor Today. www.farmlands.co.nz | 0800 200 600


Profile for Farmlands

Growing Success February 2020  

The latest on practices, people and products for a growing industry.

Growing Success February 2020  

The latest on practices, people and products for a growing industry.

Profile for farmlands