Attention HB orchardists

Innovative weed control project launches in Motueka, why not HB?


  Added one year ago

Attention HB orchardists

A December 12 article in Farmers Weekly began with this paragraph …

“A battle is underway in an apple orchard in Motueka (as we began reading, we were eagerly anticipating the words, ‘Hawke’s Bay’) as researchers watch to see if groundcover plants will see off weeds and reduce the need for herbicides.”

The trial got underway in October on Willisbrook Orchard at Hope, near Nelson. Seven different seed species with different attributes – sheep’s burnet, bird’s foot trefoil, plantain, strawberry clover, alyssum, chicory, common yarrow – have been planted under the trial rows of apple trees. The aim is to establish whether all or some of these plants can outcompete weeds – and even improve soil quality – without any detrimental impact on the trees and their fruit.

Seems like a well-conceived project with major operational and sustainability implications. Good on them.

But why Motueka we ask with envy?

NZ Apples and Pears (HQ’d in Hastings) and Plant and Food Research (with a facility in Havelock North) are partners in the project.

And isn’t Hawke’s Bay the ‘fruitbowl of New Zealand’? We must have a bevy of innovative orchardists. More than just Craigmore’s Springhill operation in CHB, on whom we’ve reported previously in this newsletter, here and here. 

C’mon HB orcharding innovators … raise your hands. Tell us what you’re up to. We’ll be proud to report on you.

 

 


Join the conversation

Be the first to leave a comment.

Leave a comment

All comments are reviewed before they are published on the website. Your email address will not be published.

Fill out my online form.
Mangaroa Farms - Cultivating Sustainability and Regenerative Agriculture in Whitemans Valley
Mangaroa Farms - Cultivating Sustainability and Regenerative Agriculture in Whitemans Valley
Added 11 hrs ago
Wilmot Cattle Co's Soil Carbon Sequestration - A Profitable Venture or Short-Term Fix?
Wilmot Cattle Co's Soil Carbon Sequestration - A Profitable Venture or Short-Term Fix?
Added 12 hrs ago
Rebuilding farm infrastructure – opportunities for farmers
Rebuilding farm infrastructure – opportunities for farmers
Added 4 days ago
Carbon Positive Project February Update
Carbon Positive Project February Update
Added a week ago
Don’t dismiss soil’s carbon offset role
Don’t dismiss soil’s carbon offset role
Added a week ago
Exporting 101: Food and Fibre
Exporting 101: Food and Fibre
Added a week ago