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Send in your bugs

Plant & Food Research are currently conducting research on the potential to use a parasitic wasp (T. japonicus) as a biocontrol option should a population of Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) be detected in New Zealand. In a response, these wasps would be released to seek out and parasitize BMSB eggs. To enable the legal import of this wasp it is important to first understand its potential impact on our native shield bug populations. Plant & Food research therefore need a supply of native shield bugs to test whether T. japonicus parasitizes them and you can help by sending in any shield bugs, in particular they need Schellenberg’s soldier bug, Oechalia schellenbergii,(pictured right). Plant & Food Research asks that the live insects, and some of the plant foliage on which they were found, be placed in a paper bag (or wrapped in paper towelling), then placed in a plastic bag. The plastic bag prevents everything from drying out and the paper absorbs excess condensation. They can then be boxed (for protection) and couriered to:  Sophie Hunt New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research 120 Mt Albert Road Sandringham  Auckland 1025.  Please include a note with collection data (where collected, name of collector etc.). 

Horticulture represented in Police & Rural Stakeholders Partnership

HortNZ recently approached Ashby Whitehead to ask for a grower nomination to join the Police & Rural Stakeholders Partnership. Dave Flett, a BOP grower and a NZAGA & AIC Board member, has accepted this position.  Dave has a background in sales and marketing and made the move into horticulture five years ago when he and his wife, Julie, purchased an avocado orchard in the Bay of Plenty. The Police & Rural Stakeholders Partnership, chaired by Bay of Plenty farmer Rick Powdrell from Federated Farmers, promotes a collaborative approach between rural communities and the police to raise visibility for agriculture crime and reduce issues for farmers and growers.   "Avocados have been impacted severely at times by thieves”, says New Zealand Avocado CEO Jen Scoular. "The New Zealand Police provided excellent support for growers at the time but it is important that industry is involved going forward in solutions to protecting avocado crops. "The increasing value of avocados and the shortage last season created a real problem in April and May this year, with avocados being stolen in the dead of night by what may have been gangs of thieves.  "Avocados are not the only crop affected and thieves regularly target horticulture, especially when there are crop shortages and as a result, prices are high. It is important that horticulture is able to contribute to solutions devised by the New Zealand Police and so we welcome Dave Flett joining the Police & Rural Stakeholders Partnership,” Ms Scoular says.

Taste of Auckland - a great success

We celebrated our amazing product and enjoyed mixing with foodies at the recent Taste of Auckland festival at Western Springs, Auckland held 17-20 November. We used it as a fun team building event, where seven of the team were involved in preparing and sharing over 7700 delicious samples for more than 6,000 visitors to our stand. It was great to have Nadia Lim join us on the Saturday and Sunday to interact with visitors to our stand and demonstrate three terrific avocado recipes – avocado bliss balls, avocado chocolate mousse and avocado pina colada smoothies. Nadia told her audiences about her love of avocados, her favourite ways to eat them or feed them to her 7-month old baby Bodhi, and her key avocado ripening and storing tips. Taste of Auckland is the largest food and wine festival in New Zealand and is held during the main part of the avocado season, so it’s perfect for promoting our avocados. This was our third year at Taste and it was a great success. We receive incredibly positive feedback from guests who loved our avocado samples and showed a real interest in the industry. For more images from the event check out our Facebook page www.facebook.com/nzavocado and for the recipes we shared check out our website http://www.nzavocado.co.nz/online/recipes.csn.

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Upcoming Events

Katikati Avocado Expo

09:00 AM, 05 February 2017

Be sure to lock the 5th February into your calendar and head to the Katikati A&P Show for a fun family day out. Avocados are the new culinary rock star, and there will be Avocado delights to be tasted in our new food area.  Katikati is one of NZ’s key production areas and we are keen to promote ourselves as the Avocado capital of NZ.  Avoco and Avanza are sponsoring the marquee which provides a prime viewing area for the Woodchopping which will again be a feature of the Expo.  There will be plenty of activities for the children run by the local art group. When: 5 February 2017 Where: Uretara Domain, Katikati For more information, visit their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Katikati-Avo-Expo-5-Feb-2017-1659419361024093

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