Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Industry-Leading Orchardists Win Supreme in Ballance Awards

Industry-Leading Orchardists Win Supreme in 2015 Waikato Ballance Farm Environment Awards


Matamata horticulturists Frans and Tineke de Jong, their son Talbert de Jong and his partner Emily Meese are Supreme winners of the 2015 Waikato Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA).

At a special BFEA ceremony on April 23, the de Jong’s family-run business, Southern Belle Orchard, also collected the Hill Laboratories Harvest Award, the Massey University Innovation Award, the WaterForce Integrated Management Award and the Ballance Agri-Nutrients Soil Management Award.

Described by BFEA judges as industry leaders who are “paving the way and setting examples to follow”, the de Jongs grow feijoas and capsicums on a 5.05ha property purchased in 2003.

Feijoas are produced in the 3.5ha orchard and capsicums are grown in 3000square metres of greenhouse. While a range of fruit and vegetables have been grown in the past, the de Jongs made the decision to concentrate on two main crops, focusing on quality and volume.

Judges said Southern Belle Orchard is an excellent example of what can be achieved when clear objectives and goals are established for a farming business.

“All decisions are backed up with thorough analysis, research and science. The amount of innovation and efficiency is amazing.”

Feijoas are trained espalier-style for ease of management and harvest. The orchard’s original trees are gradually being replaced with new cultivars with a range of harvest times from mid-March through until June. Southern Belle Orchard is expected to produce about 20 tonnes of feijoas this year, but estimated volume is expected to triple in four years when the new trees mature. About half of the feijoas are exported.

Southern Belle grows a range of capsicum varieties, including trial crops, which are planted in August and harvested from early November to early July. Most are sold on the local market. A small quantity of cucumbers and chillies is also grown in the greenhouses.

Along with Frans, Tineke, Talbert and Emily, Southern Belle has four staff working almost all year in the greenhouses. Up to 20 more people are employed for feijoa picking and pruning from March until July.

Talbert and Emily have been working full-time in the business since 2013 when Frans and Tineke set in motion a carefully considered 10-year succession plan.

Frans, who has a background in analytical chemistry and process technology, has devised a greenhouse heating system which reduces energy usage by 40 percent and a unique closed circuit irrigation method which ensures no nutrients are being lost.

BFEA judges said his inventive and experimental approach to soil fertility, nutrient and water management is an integral part of the business, enabling systems to be “continually refined to produce excellent crop health and yield”.

Careful and vigilant management and the use of some biological controls have significantly reduced the amount of spraying needed.

Judges also noted the “impressive analysis of production and forecasts, which prompts management to avert risk and drive efficiencies and productivity”.

A BFEA field day will be held on Southern Belle Orchard on May 21, 2015.

Winners in the 2015 Waikato Ballance Farm Environment Awards were:

Supreme award, Hill Laboratories Harvest Award, Massey University Innovation Award, WaterForce Integrated Management Award and Ballance Agri-Nutrients Soil Management Award: Frans and Tineke de Jong, Talbert de Jong and Emily Meese, Southern Belle Orchard, Matamata.

LIC Dairy Farm Award, Waikato Regional Council Water Protection Award: John Hayward and Susan O'Regan, Judge Valley Dairies Limited, Te Awamutu.

Donaghys Farm Stewardship Award: Anita and Hans Nelis, Tirau.

PGG Wrightson Land and Life Award, Waikato River Authority Catchment Improvement Award: Peter and Judi Buckley and Stuart and Lichelle Morgan, Loch Carron, Te Kauwhata.


Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Science Media Centre: Funding For R&D In New Zealand – Expert Reaction

Research, Science and Innovation Minister Dr Megan Woods has today announced $401.3 million funding for research and development through Budget 2020 and the COVID Response and Recovery Fund. The fund includes $150 million for an R&D loan scheme, ... More>>

ALSO:

Maritime NZ: NZ Joins Global Initiative Keeping Ports Open And Freight Moving

New Zealand has joined an international port authorities’ global initiative for safe and efficient movement of goods and shipping during the COVID-19 crisis. World-wide, 56 port authorities have agreed how they will work together facilitating maritime ... More>>

ALSO:

National: National Backs Businesses With $10k JobStart

National will provide a $10,000 cash payment to businesses that hire additional staff as part of our commitment to keeping New Zealanders in jobs, National Party Leader Todd Muller and Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith have announced. Our JobStart ... More>>

ALSO:

DIY Law: Government Exempts Some Home Improvements From Costly Consents

Homeowners, builders and DIYers will soon have an easier time making basic home improvements as the Government scraps the need for consents for low-risk building work such as sleep-outs, sheds and carports – allowing the construction sector ... More>>

ALSO:

Media Awards: The New Zealand Herald Named Newspaper Of The Year, Website Of The Year At Voyager Media Awards

The New Zealand Herald has been labelled a “powerhouse news operation” as it claims the two biggest prizes – Newspaper of the Year and Website of the Year – along with many individual awards at the 2020 Voyager Media Awards Website of the ... More>>

ALSO:

ASB Bank: ASB Takes The Lead Again With New Low Home Loan Interest Rate

ASB has moved again to support its customers, cutting a number of home loan rates, including the two-year special rate to a new low of 2.69% p.a. Craig Sims, ASB executive general manager Retail Banking says the reduced rate will be welcome news for many ... More>>

ALSO:

Nathan Hoturoa Gray: The Problems With Testing And Case Statistics For Covid-19

To begin to understand disease transmission in a country requires adequate testing of your population with properly vetted, accurate tests. As the world struggles to find what 'adequate percentage' of the population is necessary, (estimates predict ... More>>

ALSO:

RNZ: Fletcher Building To Lay Off 1000 Staff In New Zealand

The construction company will cut around 10 percent of its workforce as it struggles with the fallout from Covid-19. More>>

ALSO:

Can Pay, Won't Pay: Cashflow Moves Urged

Government Ministers are asking significant private enterprises to adopt prompt payment practices in line with the state sector, as a way to improve cashflow for small businesses. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Why We Should Legally Protect The Right To Work From Home

For understandable reasons, the media messaging around Level Two has been all about “freedom” and “celebration”, but this is not necessarily going to be a universal experience. When it comes to workplace relations, Level Two is just as likely to ... More>>

ALSO:



New Zealand Government: Supporting Kiwi Businesses To Resolve Rent Disputes

The Government will legislate to ensure businesses that suffered as a result of the COVID-19 response will get help to resolve disputes over commercial rent issues, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. More>>

ALSO:


Science Media Centre: Understanding 5G Concerns – Expert Q&A


Recent attacks on cell phone towers have brought concerns over the rollout of 5G technology into sharp relief.
While scientific research has consistently shown that the technology does not adversely affect human health, public concerns about its impact have spread around the world, fueled in part by growing misinformation online. The SMC asked experts to comment... More>>

ALSO:


Trade: Record Monthly Surplus As Imports Dive

Imports in April 2020 had their biggest fall since October 2009, resulting in a monthly trade surplus of $1.3 billion, Stats NZ said today. “This is the largest monthly trade surplus on record and the annual goods trade deficit is the lowest ... More>>

ALSO:


Media Blues: Stuff Chief Executive Buys Company For $1

Stuff chief executive Sinead Boucher has purchased Stuff from its Australian owners Nine Entertainment for $1.
The chief executive was returning the company to New Zealand ownership, with the sale is expected to be completed by 31 May.
"Our plan is to transition the ownership of Stuff to give staff a direct stake in the business as shareholders," Boucher said in a statement.... More>>

ALSO:

RNZ: Bar Reopening Night 'much, Much Quieter'

Pubs and bars are reporting a sluggish first day back after the lockdown, with the fear of going out, or perhaps the joy of staying home, thought to be a reason for the low numbers. More>>

ALSO:

Stats NZ: New Zealand’s Population Passes 5 Million

New Zealand's resident population provisionally reached 5 million in March 2020, Stats NZ said today. More>>

NIWA: Seven Weeks Of Clearing The Air Provides Huge Benefits: Scientist

Seven weeks of lockdown has provided evidence of how pollution can vanish overnight with benefits for the environment and individuals, says NIWA air quality scientist Dr Ian Longley. Dr Longley has been monitoring air quality in Auckland, Wellington ... More>>

ALSO:

Government: Milestone In Cash Flow Support To SMEs

A significant package of tax reforms will be pushed through all stages in Parliament today to throw a cash flow lifeline to small businesses. More>>

ALSO: