Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 

Berry Growers Look To Soil For Answers

Blackcurrant and boysenberry growers may be able to boost their income with consistently higher yields and better-quality fruit by improving soil management, a research project has found.

Crop & Food Research, in association with HortResearch, carried out the project for Blackcurrants NZ Ltd, which represents blackcurrant and boysenberry growers. The growers were keen to produce more and better fruit from sustainable practices.

"Increases of even 10 or 20 per cent would make a huge difference to growers' incomes," Blackcurrants NZ product manager Ian Turk says.

"Sustainable growing methods also boost export prospects in 'green' and quality-conscious markets."

The project found that growers could monitor the health of their soil by using several physical, chemical or biological indicators, according to Crop & Food soil scientist Tony van der Weerden.

"For example, by knowing how well the soil stores water, it's possible to manage irrigation practices more efficiently," Dr van der Weerden says. "We are also looking at ways growers can reduce soil compaction, which affects the roots' health."

The research team has developed a score card consisting of photos and written descriptions that help growers to rate the structure of their soil. Crop & Food has previously found that well-structured soils produce higher yields.

Technology New Zealand - part of the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology - helped to fund the project.

Mr Turk says the project has shown that increasing soil organic matter by mulching and spreading cuttings and clippings from bush-pruning improves soil health. Other recommendations are confidential, he says, but they concern methods for allowing growers to produce good-quality crops through better soil management.


-ends-

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 


Westpac NZ: Warns About Sophisticated New Scam
Westpac NZ is warning New Zealanders about a sophisticated new scam that involves a fake Westpac investment prospectus.
The prospectus is formatted to resemble a Westpac document and includes professional-looking imagery... More>>



Campaign For NZ Coastal Tankers : Says Fuel Security At Risk

Three unions representing New Zealand shipping crews are mounting a united campaign to protect New Zealand’s fuel security and save New Zealand coastal tankers... More>>



Tourism: Travel Bubble With Cook Islands Resumes

Cook Islands tourism restarts today, ending a five-month border closure due to COVID-19. Graeme West, General Manager Australasia for Cook Islands Tourism Corporation, said today’s first flight of quarantine-free travel from New Zealand to the Cook Islands is very significant... More>>


Insurance Council of New Zealand: September South Island Windstorm Cost $36.5 M Raises 2021 Extreme Weather Claims Total To $321.6 M

Gale force winds and storms between 9 and 13 September 2021 resulted in insurers supporting communities to the tune of $36.5 m. This is a significant rise, of $16.7 m, on preliminary figures for the event and lifts the end of year total for all extreme weather events in 2021 to $321.6 m... More>>


Statistics: Building Consents Hit New Highs In November
There were a record 48,522 new homes consented in the year ended November 2021, Stats NZ said today. This was up 26 percent compared with the year ended November 2020... More>>

Fonterra: Revises Milk Collection Forecast
Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited today revised the forecast for its 2021/22 New Zealand milk collections to 1,500 million kilograms of milk solids (kgMS), down from its opening forecast of 1,525 million kgMS... More>>