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NZ: Research roadshow highlights how levy money is put to practical use

More than 90 vegetable industry participants attended the Vegetables NZ and Vegetable Research and Innovation (VR&I) roadshow in Pukekohe on April 10, 2024.

"Most of these people – more than 30 – were growers," said Vegetables NZ general manager Antony Heywood.

"The event highlighted to them how the money they pay in levies is put to good use to fund practical research that supports the future of growing in New Zealand."

"The event also showed that growers throughout the county have aligned research objectives, no matter what they grow. This was evident when Foundation for Arable Research (FAR) cereal scientist Jo Drummond reinforced Vegetables NZ research, development, and extension manager Daniel Sutton's statement that growers need to trust in the fundamentals of integrated pest management (IPM)."

"IPM conforms to the basic premise of the balance of nature,' said Daniel. 'High pest pressure should also relate to an increase in predator beneficials, so in time, there should be balance and control. That's why crop scouting is so important and why beneficial activity needs to be carefully understood."

Growers Kevin Wilcox, Howe Yung and Stuart Davis weighed into the conversation, offering practical insights to reinforce the benefits and trust required in IPM. They pointed out how IPM is essential to ensure synthetic chemistry is used in a way that ensures resistance is not built up.

The roadshow concluded with a discussion on commodity levies, which was framed well by Vegetables NZ chair, John Murphy. Onions NZ and TomatoesNZ also joined this discussion.

"A research roadshow like this would not happen without your support through the commodity levies," said John. "These funds pay for the research our board approves based on stated grower priorities. The money also pays for our staff, who put together practical workshops and events like these."

The research roadshows continue throughout April and into May. Click here to find out more and to register.

For more information:
Fresh Vegetables NZ

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