Field days

Field days are always a highlight for congress attendees. They are your opportunity to experience the amazing diversity of avocado growing systems and supply chain processes first-hand. 

Field days will include New Zealand's top growers - acheving yields of over 50 tonnes a hectare, new intensive planting from greenfield dairy farms, and packhouse visits. Wider topics will cover agritec, supply chain, managing different crops and more. 

Haga clic aquí para obtener información sobre los días de campo en español.

Spanish interpreting will be provided on all field days. 

Ticket numbers are limited so register for the congress and add a field day ticket to your registration here: Registration - WACNZ 2023

If you have already registered for the congress and would like to add a field day to your registration. Please contact wac@theconferencecompany.com

Field days tickets are $150 NZD + GST. Included in the field days registration:

  • Participation in one full day field trip. If you would like to attend two field trips (one on Saturday, one on Sunday), you will need to register for both trips separately. 
  • Transport to and from the Aotea centre. All trips will depart from and return to Aotea Square (291-297 Queen Street, Auckland CBD). 
  • Morning tea
  • Packed lunch by Eat My Lunch*
  • Hot drink (Tea & Coffee with lunch)
  • Cold bottled drink

*We are proudly supporting the future by working with Eat My Lunch to supply the field day lunches. Eat My Lunch is a social enterprise caring for our future through supporting children in over 87 schools throughout New Zealand.  For every lunch eaten on the field days a child is provided with a school lunch. This aligns with the congress theme respectful. 

Field trip options: 

All trips will depart from and return to Aotea Square (291-297 Queen Street, Auckland CBD). Schedules are to be confirmed. Departures will be from approx 7am on both days. Saturday trips are all day trips that will return to the Aotea centre at approx 5.30pm. Sunday trips will return at approx 3pm to allow guests to attend the opening ceremony. 

Saturday 1st April:

Trip:

Details:

Hosts:

 

Saturday trip one: Sustainable income through multiple crops; Tapora and Warkworth

 

This field trip involves visiting an orchard and avocado pack house. Hear about avocado production in the Tapora region and visit the pack house where it's packed. Southern Paprika will share how avocado production fits in with it's other horticultural crops.

Harbour Edge orchard 

Southern Paprika packhouse

 

Saturday trip two: Avocado propagation and diversity of horticulture in the Mid-North; Whangarei

* Numbers are limited on this field trip

 

On this field trip visit a nursery and berry orchard. Hear about Lynwood nursery's propagation of avocado plant material to supply both New Zealand and international growers and take a tour of their facilities. This tour will also include a visit to nearby Maungatapere berries to hear about their operation across multiple berry crops and kiwifruit.

Lynwood nursery

Maungatepere berries

 

Saturday trip three: Orchard walks; Katikati

 

Visit the orchard of one of New Zealand's highest yielding growers, located in the Bay of Plenty region. This field day will also include a visit to a nearby kiwifruit orchard to see some different aspects of growing in this region

The Watchorns orchard visit

Kiwifruit orchard visit

 

Saturday trip four: New Zealand Agritech, orchard and packhouse visit; Katikati

 

Tour an avocado orchard and packhouse facilities while hearing how New Zealand agritech companies are supporting horticulture.

Just Avocados packhouse

 Just Avocados orchard visit

 

 Sunday 2nd April:

Trip:

Details:

Hosts:

Sunday trip one: Collaboration with our scientific partners; Glenbrook

Visit an avocado orchard in the Pukekohe region. Hear how the New Zealand Institute of Plant & Food Research is supporting horticulture domestically and internationally.

 

 

Plant & Food at Glenbrook orchard

Sunday trip two: Avocado production; Tapora

Visit an avocado orchard in the rapidly developing area of Tapora.

 

Harbour Edge orchard

 

*All field days are subject to people and orchards being available on the day. If this specific orchard or activity is not available, another great option will be added instead. WAC NZ Ltd reserves the right to make adjustments to the field days. 


Saturday 1st April options:

Saturday Trip one: Sustainable income through multiple crops; Tapora and Warkworth

This field trip involves visiting an orchard and pack house. Hear about avocado production in the Tapora region and visit the pack house where it's packed. Southern Paprika will share how avocado production fits in with it's other horticultural crops.

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Tapora is situated on the Okahukura Peninsula, North West of Auckland. It is a developing area in terms of avocado production with predominately dairy farm land being converted into several new orchards and expanding plantings in the last 10 years. Soils are dominated by sand with orchards located less than 50m above sea level. Average annual rainfall is between 1100 – 1200mm with less rain falling in summer than winter months. Average monthly temperature range from 8°C to 15°C in winter to 16°C to 24°C in summer. Tapora can experience strong winds, particularly Westerlies off the neighbouring Kaipara harbour.

Harbour Edge Avocados Ltd

Visit an avocado orchard and hear about avocado production in the Tapora region. Harbour Edge Avocados Ltd began in 2015 as a 400 hectare dairy farm on the Tapora Penninsula of the Kaipara Harbour. The property which began as pasture over rolling sand dunes has been progressively developed over the past 7 years into a large-scale avocado orchard operation with approximately 150 hectares or 40,000 trees planted on either seedling or clonal rootstocks. Of the 150ha, approximately 100ha is in production in the 2022 / 23 season. There is potential to continue developing the property which has an estimated 250ha of soil suitable to avocado and the remainder ear-marked for citrus production.

HarbourEdge8.jpg

Development of the property has involved considerable contouring of sand dunes and re-application of topsoil, irrigation infrastructure including bores, ponds, pipe networks and fertigation; shelter including radiata pine shelter belts planted at 80m x 120m (1ha) grids and artificial wind break fences every second tree row. The orchard itself is planted in three spacings, with approximately 1/3 of the orchard planted in each of 6m x 4m, 7m x 3.5m and 7m x 5m.

HarbourEdge7.jpg

The operation employs around 8 full-time staff, with an additional 10 casual RSE staff from Vanuatu over the 6 month harvest and pruning season.

Production is rising rapidly each year and projections over the next 10 years are that the tray numbers should increase to around 500,000 tray equivalents per annum at full production.

Southern Paprika Limited

In Warkworth, visit the pack house Southern Paprika where they will share how avocado production fits in with it's other horticultural crops. Southern Paprika Limited (SPL) was formed in 1998 as a joint venture between ACL and The Levarht Company of Holland and the construction of a new 2.5 ha glasshouse commenced just outside of Warkworth which is around an hour’s drive north of Auckland.

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Our company name, Southern Paprika, was created because we are in the Southern hemisphere, and in the northern hemisphere capsicums are known as Paprika. (We don’t make the red spice of the same name).

The joint venture came about as a solution to supply capsicum to Levarht’s customers in Japan from New Zealand in the Northern Hemisphere winter. (Our NZ grown capsicums are grown year round). Levarht’s international marketing experience has helped SPL grow rapidly into a large scale specialist in the capsicum market and since inception, the distribution network has strengthened and now incorporates consigning product to various supermarket chains and markets, in Japan and Australia, while we try to keep up with the ever increasing domestic demand in New Zealand.

Over the years we have added additional glasshouses in 4 separate complex’s and now have a total of 27 ha of state of the art glasshouses (which includes the original 1 ha leased from ACL at Point Wells). We are New Zealand's largest single site glasshouse grower of quality capsicums.

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In these 4 complex’s we have almost 1 million capsicum plants each producing around 40 capsicums per plant per season.

Our reason for being:

Southern Paprika is focused on production with the aim of being the most reliable supplier of what we produce. We have specialised in Capsicums and continue to see this as our core crop as we are now one of New Zealand’s largest capsicum growers. To continue being a market leader we are continually challenging ourselves to consistently provide the best quality fruit for our domestic and export customers. Although our philosophy is to keep it simple we have implemented the best available techniques and systems and we are always looking to integrate new technology and innovation in to our entire growing, picking, packing and supply chain management process.

Our goals are to:

  • Produce everything in a long term financially efficient and sustainable way. This includes energy, biological production, waste, transport and health.
  • Increase consumption of the products we produce, and in doing so make our products the consumers preferred choice.
  • Continued prudent innovative and resourceful investment in capital, and research to keep us at the forefront of the capsicum industry, in whatever market we are in.
  • Make SPL a career choice and a rewarding environment for those who will grow the company into the future.

Saturday Trip two: Avocado propagation and diversity of hortculture in the Mid-North; Whangarei

On this field trip visit a nursery and berry orchard. Hear about Lynwood nursery's propagation of avocado plant material to supply both New Zealand and international growers and take a tour of their facilities. This tour will also include a visit to nearby Maungatapere berries to hear about their operation across multiple berry crops and kiwifruit.

Saturday 3&4.png

Whangarei is approximately 2 hours north of Auckland and is the main centre of the Mid-North avocado producing region. The Mid North region produces 20% of New Zealand’s avocados with the majority of orchards located close to Whangarei city. Whangarei is also home to Lynwood nursery, one of the two large avocado nurseries in New Zealand. Whangarei soils are dominated by clay with a volcanic history that make them reasonably free draining. Orchard soil organic matter is about 13%. Orchards are predominately located between 100m – 300m above seas level. Average annual rainfall is 1500mm with less rain in summer than winter months. Average temperatures range from 7°C to 16°C in winter to 14°C to 24°C in summer. The region has experienced several historic extreme weather events that have negatively affected avocado production. 

Lynwood Nursery

Visit Lynwood Nursery in Whangarei. This nursery supplies trees to both New Zealand and international growers. Lynwood Avocado Nursery is a family-owned business based in Whangarei in the northern tip of New Zealand. The nursery was established in 1988 by the Wade family and continues to be a family run business.

Lynwood Avocado Nursery May 2020-15.jpg

The nursery is a world leader in avocado propagation. Lynwood is the largest supplier of trees in New Zealand, supplying both growers and the retail sector. Their expertise is recognised internationally, and they have close relationships with, and consult to many nurseries and avocado developments around the globe. Avocado plants, scions and seeds are exported to many countries.

Lynwood Avocado Nursery May 2020-150.jpg

Lynwood propagates a range of different rootstocks, including both clonal and seedling rootstocks. They are the exclusive suppliers of the clonal SR1 rootstock, a locally discovered rootstock which has a very robust root system.

Lynwood has a strong team who can help support growers and clients with decisions involved with orchard establishment. The team collectively have over a century of experience of propagating and growing avocados.

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Lynwood is involved in their own orchard development as well as managing several other large projects.

Maungatapere Berries

This tour will also include a visit to a nearby orchard. Maungatapere berries’ operation spans multiple berry crops and kiwifruit. Maungatapere Berries is a family owned horticulture business based just outside of Whangarei and nestled underneath the Maungatapere volcano.

The Malley family (Dermott & Linzi Malley and Patrick & Rebecca Malley) operate the 37 hectare orchard as well as a blueberry post-harvest facility and berryfruit breeding operation along with 47 full-time employees and up to 120 season employees.

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Maungatapere Berries grows conventional Gold 3 and Hayward kiwifruit, as well as hydroponic Raspberries, Blueberries and Blackberries under protected covers. Harvest operations begin in August with blueberries, and continue over multiple crop types through to July finishing with raspberries. Maungatapere Berries is an award winning operation, receiving accolades such as Ballance Farm Environment Supreme Award winner, Northland Business Excellence Supreme Award winner as well as multiple employee development awards. The family looks forward to hosting you for an orchard walk and horticulture discussion.

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Find out more about Maungatapere Berries here: Maungatapere Berries. - Home


Saturday Trip three: Orchard walks; Katikati

Visit the orchard of one of New Zealand's highest yielding growers, located in the Bay of Plenty region. This field day will also include a visit to a nearby kiwifruit orchard to see some different aspects of growing in this region

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Katikati is approximately 2 hours south of Auckland located in the Western Bay of Plenty. The Bay of Plenty region produces over 60% of New Zealand avocados and is a large horticulture hub for both avocado and kiwifruit production. Located on the east coast of the North Island the majority of orchards are located below 100m above sea level. Bay of Plenty soils are dominated by loams with orchard soil organic matter ranging from 13-15%. Average annual rainfall is between 1200 – 1700mm with less rain in summer than winter months. Average temperatures range from 6°C to 15°C in winter to 14°C to 23°C in summer. Frosts are more likely to occur in Bay of Plenty orchards compared to other main avocado growing regions of the country.

The Watchorns

Visit an avocado orchard owned by The Watchorns. Maria and Andrew purchased their first 5ha Avocado orchard in 2005 after an 18 year (Maria) and 30 year (Andrew) successful career in Banking.  11 years later they purchased an additional 10ha production block. They further expanded in 2021 with another 7ha and in 2022 relocated to a young 3ha block. They have subsequently sold their original 5ha block as they live on their new orchard. All orchard blocks are adjacent to each other.

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They have endeavored to be early adopters and innovators where appropriate to their situation and example of which was drilling a bore for water on their first block back in 2006 so they could irrigate with overhead sprinklers but most importantly frost protect their trees which, at that time, had not been undertaken in avocados. Their frost system saved them on numerous occasions and as a result paid for itself many times over.

Another example is consistently and regularly pruning trees for light, picking access, spray penetration and growth promotion. This is done twice a year and they believe a key factor in being awarded New Zealand Top Avocado Grower six years in a row from 2016 to 2021. They have averaged over the past three years 39tonne per hectare but anticipate this will increase to 49tonne per ha this year.

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Maria has always believed in “using the research available” and in the early years spent hours reading anything and everything avocado to gain a better understanding of how the trees functioned and what innovations where out there. As Maria says “We must use science to direct our best practices but use nature and nurture for the rest. Always remember it’s about respecting your tree’s, respecting the environment they grow in and respecting the people involved.”

They both feel you oversee your own destiny (orchard) and must take ownership and control and not sit back and wait to be told what to do but at times make your own bold decisions.

Set high standards, gather like-minded people around you and then, Go For It! 

Read more about the Watchorns here: Maria and Andrew Watchorn - NEW ZEALAND AVOCADO (nzavocado.com)

Kiwifruit orchard

We will also visit a newly established kiwifruit orchard. Riverview orchard is a 20ha Sun-gold (G3) kiwifruit orchard 5 kms south of Katikati, Bay of Plenty. Katikati’s temperate climate makes it a desirable location to produce high-quality fruit. Riverview has been developed and managed by local orchard management company Southern Cross Horticulture.

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This orchard is under cover to offer protection from climatic conditions such as wind and hail. The cover is crucial for the development of new orchards – particularly those in windy sites. This orchard is well set up for irrigation and fertigation which can be monitored and controlled remotely, with the use of tools such as soil moisture probes and weather stations to aide in decision making. Four permanent frost fans offer frost protection during spring.

8ha of this orchard was a summer plant in January 2022, and the remaining 12ha was a winter plant in July 2022. Both the summer and winter plantings will be ready for their first harvest in April 2024 – 21 months after the winter planting. The first crop will be an average of 6000 trays/ha and will reach full production of 17,500 trays/ha by 2025. Kiwifruit is very high in vitamin C, dietary fibre and provide a variety of health benefits. The international demand for kiwifruit is high which will prompt more developments like this.

 


Saturday Trip four: New Zealand Agritech, orchard and packhouse visit; Katikati

Tour an avocado orchard and packhouse facilities while hearing how New Zealand agritech companies are supporting horticulture.

Saturday 5&6 +7.png

Katikati is approximately 2 hours south of Auckland located in the Western Bay of Plenty. The Bay of Plenty region produces over 60% of New Zealand avocados and is a large horticulture hub for both avocado and kiwifruit production. Located on the east coast of the North Island the majority of orchards are located below 100m above sea level. Bay of Plenty soils are dominated by loams with orchard soil organic matter ranging from 13-15%. Average annual rainfall is between 1200 – 1700mm with less rain in summer than winter months. Average temperatures range from 6°C to 15°C in winter to 14°C to 23°C in summer. Frosts are more likely to occur in Bay of Plenty orchards compared to other main avocado growing regions of the country.

Just Avocados packhouse and orchard

Darling Group is proud to be the Kiwi Gold Sponsor for the 10th World Avocado Congress being held in Auckland on April 2-5, 2023. With a strong focus on being present in the international market and a drive to provide all of our markets with the best quality New Zealand avocados available. Darling Group is excited to welcome delegates from around the world to enjoy our little slice of paradise.

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Darling Groups purpose is to help the world eat healthier – everyday. We do this by growing, packing, and exporting a year-round supply of premium fresh produce from international origins including New Zealand, Australia, North and South America

Using an integrated supply system, and by taking care of growing, packing, and exporting, we pride ourselves in delivering a seamless and cost-effective service across the entire chain. This integrated supply allows us to respond quickly to changing market dynamics and better understand both customer and supplier needs.

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For Darling Group, being present at the conference gives us the opportunity to gain valuable knowledge from avocado thought leaders across the globe. This is also a great opportunity to come together to share thoughts on how we can increase both supply and demand of avocados, worldwide.

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Andrew Darling, Managing Director of Darling Group says, “With borders opening and the opportunity to attend large conferences becoming a reality, we’re looking forward to showing the rest of the world what the New Zealand Avocado industry has to offer.”


Sunday 2nd April options:

 

Sunday Trip one: Collaboration with our scientific partners; Glenbrook

Visit an avocado orchard in the Pukekohe region. Hear how the New Zealand Institute of Plant & Food Research is supporting horticulture domestically and internationally.

Sunday trip 1 Glenbrook.png

Glenbrook is just under an hour south of Auckland, close to the Kaipara harbour and the West coast. It does not fit into the three main avocado producing regions but several avocado orchards are located in the area along with other horticulture, arable crops and agricultural farms. Soils are variable across the region from well drained loam to moderately well drained clays. The wider area is known for its fertile soils that support food production for nearby Auckland city and the wider country. Avocado orchards are located below 60m above sea level. Average annual rainfall is between 1200mm – 1300mm. Average temperatures range from 8°C to 15°C in winter to 15°C to 25°C in summer.

Population increase in Auckland city has seen a large increase in housing developments that is sparking debate over priorities between fertile productive land and housing. 

Glenbrook orchard

David French has been involved in avocado growing at Glenbrook Beach near Waiuku since the late 1980's. He began by managing a mixed kiwifruit and avocado property in 1988, which he purchased in 1996. In 2004, a neighbouring bare block of land was purchased. This was developed into an avocado orchard. The land was prepared by doing deep ripping and humping and hollowing to improve drainage. Shelter trees were then planted and the majority of the current trees were planted in 2006. The trees were a combination of Hass  on zutano and Hass on Duke7 with bacons and zutanos spread amongst them to improve cross-pollination.The trees have been pruned every year in an attempt to keep them healthy and productive.

In 2012, a heavy frost in early September caused a lot of damage. Approximately, half the fruit was dropped by the trees and most of the flower buds for the following year. As a result the orchard had two years of very light crops. At this point, the irrigation sprinklers were put on raised poles above the trees to give frost protection. This has been very effective.

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The orchard now produces moderate crops each year generally in the 8-12 tonne per hectare range. The orchard is fully irrigated and fertigated throughout the main growing season. Soil and leaf tests are done every year to determine nutrition inputs and pest monitoring is carried out every 3 weeks to tell us when pest spraying is required. Phytophera control is also done by foliar spraying rather than injecting.

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After attending the Columbian World Avocado Congress in 2019 and hearing a paper about the benefits of covering crops a decision was made to cover part of the avocado orchard. (By this time David's kiwifruit was also covered in hail netting and was proving to be successful.) Approximately 3 ha was covered in 2020. Although production hasn't improved much, tree health and fruit quality definitely appear to be getting better.

In April 2021, five rows of trees were planted in the vacant space that was created when internal shelter trees were removed to allow the 3 ha block to be covered. These trees are being trained on trellis. The aim is to see if production can be improved by utilising light more efficiently. We believe that our production per ha has to increase substantially (to 25-30 tonnes/ha) if we are to remain viable as avocado growers. The young trees are currently 18 months old and look as though they may set a modest crop. If successful, the goal would be to cover the rest of the property and grow all trees on this system.

We look forward to the 2023 conference and hopefully seeing some of you at our Glenbrook property.


Sunday Trip two: Avocado production

Visit an avocado orchard in the rapidly developing area of Tapora. 

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Tapora is situated on the Okahukura Peninsula, North West of Auckland. It is a developing area in terms of avocado production with predominately dairy farm land being converted into several new orchards and expanding plantings in the last 10 years. Soils are dominated by sand with orchards located less than 50m above sea level. Average annual rainfall is between 1100 – 1200mm with less rain falling in summer than winter months. Average monthly temperature range from 8°C to 15°C in winter to 16°C to 24°C in summer. Tapora can experience strong winds, particularly Westerlies off the neighbouring Kaipara harbour. 

Harbour Edge Avocados Ltd

Visit an avocado orchard and hear about avocado production in the Tapora region. Harbour Edge Avocados Ltd began in 2015 as a 400 hectare dairy farm on the Tapora Penninsula of the Kaipara Harbour. The property which began as pasture over rolling sand dunes has been progressively developed over the past 7 years into a large-scale avocado orchard operation with approximately 150 hectares or 40,000 trees planted on either seedling or clonal rootstocks. Of the 150ha, approximately 100ha is in production in the 2022 / 23 season. There is potential to continue developing the property which has an estimated 250ha of soil suitable to avocado and the remainder ear-marked for citrus production.

HarbourEdge8.jpg

Development of the property has involved considerable contouring of sand dunes and re-application of topsoil, irrigation infrastructure including bores, ponds, pipe networks and fertigation; shelter including radiata pine shelter belts planted at 80m x 120m (1ha) grids and artificial wind break fences every second tree row. The orchard itself is planted in three spacings, with approximately 1/3 of the orchard planted in each of 6m x 4m, 7m x 3.5m and 7m x 5m.

HarbourEdge7.jpg

The operation employs around 8 full-time staff, with an additional 10 casual RSE staff from Vanuatu over the 6 month harvest and pruning season.

Production is rising rapidly each year and projections over the next 10 years are that the tray numbers should increase to around 500,000 tray equivalents per annum at full production.


 

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