Sustainable Weed Management Workshop

Approaches to the non-chemical / sustainable management of weeds

Register here> Download pdf here>

With the increasing and well know issues surrounding herbicides, such as resistant weeds, ‘resistant’ consumers and increased regulation, non-chemical/herbicide weed management is becoming increasingly important. 

In response to this need, the BHU Future Farming Centre, NZ’s leading specialist sustainable agriculture research centre, and LandWISE with its focus on sustainable production through technology are putting on the third non-chemical weed management workshop to give attendees the knowledge and tools they need to make significant enhancements to the long-term sustainability of their on-farm weed management practices. 

Topics covered include: the context of weed management; essential weed biology and ecology; integrated weed management; plus detailed coverage of field operations and machinery.  The course will run from 8:30 – 4:30 on Thursday 20 July, at the Centre for Land and Water, 21 Ruahapia Rd, RD10, Hastings 4180, and cost $275+GST including lunch and refreshments.  Full information can be found at  Registration is essential and is through the LandWISE website

Dr Charles Merfield, Head of the Future Farming Centre, says “this practically focused course will give attendees a sound overview of the whole of non-chemical weed management as well as providing practical details about how to implement the ideas once they get back to the farm.  The feedback from attendees at the previous workshops was very positive and we expect this year’s course to be every bit as valuable.” 

Dan Bloomer, LandWISE manager says “Our members are well aware of the limitations of current weed management tools and practices. They recognise simple chemical solutions are increasingly limited and more sophisticated management is essential.”

For further information please contact:

Dr Charles Merfield
Head, BHU Future Farming Centre
021 0231 8901
Dan Bloomer
LandWISE Manager
021 356 801

Baker Ag “Inspiring Agriculture”

The BakerAg Winter Seminar

Wednesday 5th July 2017, Copthorne Solway Park Hotel, Masterton

Baker Ag are proud to announce that this year’s seminar has one of the best line-ups yet:

• Melissa Clark-Reynolds – disruptive technologies.
• Dr Charles Merfield – alternate solutions to drenching and weed spraying.
• Ian Williams – how are our farm systems being changed in the name of “sustainability”.
• Richmond Beetham – the wakeup call from the Waikato!
• James Lockhart & Sully Alsop – Benchmarking, a fad or real tool for progress?
• Steve Maharey and Andrew Gibbs – international change and megatrends – what does it mean for NZ?
• Willie Falloon – what are we changing.

Matt Watson, from the Ultimate Fishing Show is the After Dinner Speaker.

There is a free bus service for any attendees from Rangitikei, Manawatu, and Tararua regions. Put the date in your diary.

Tickets are limited to 250 and they are selling fast $185/head – includes dinner and drinks.

To book your tickets talk to

2017 Conference Roundup

In all 120 people came together for LandWISE 2017: Are we ready for automation? As always, it was a full programme and much talking between sessions. Thanks everyone for your involvement!

Two dozen speakers from England, France, Australia and New Zealand covered topics from the economics of automating apple harvesting through hyperspectral imaging, open government data, onions, irrigation, and robots that pick kiwifruit or prune grapes.  To all our speakers, a very big thank you.

Amanda Lynn brought a different perspective to the conference, leading us to consider the human side of technologies including automation through both her main presentation and the Dinner Panel she facilitated.

Chris Roberts and Rob Fitch beamed in from England and Australia and Thibaut Delcroix came over from Toulouse.

The Conference included updates from our joint Plant and Food and Onions New Zealand Sustainable Farming Fund project, “Enhancing the profitability and value of NZ Onions“.

You can get a glimpse of all the presentations through our Discussion pages. Select “Conference” from the categories to direct to the conference activities. You can also follow individual speaker’s and their topics via the Conference Programme pdf.

For the first time ever we cancelled our field session due to saturated soils at the MicroFarm site. Instead we held most demonstrations at the conference venue. Thanks to the demonstrators for tweaking your activities to suit.

We are very grateful indeed to our sponsors old and new. It’s their support that makes it possible to run and event like this at an affordable price. We are privileged to have solid and long term  support from many of these organisations especially our Platinum Sponsors; Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, BASF Crop Protection and John Deere.

We also thank AGMARDT for once again sponsoring our overseas speaker, Thibaut Delcroix from France. We look forward to continuing our relationship with all our new supporters.

We’ve had a lot of very positive feedback which does make the effort feel worthwhile. Of course we also want to know if there are things our delegates, sponsors or presenters think might be better so don’t hold back. We want to improve so feel free to drop us a note.



2017 Annual General Meeting

Notice to Members

The Annual General Meeting of LandWISE Inc. was be held during the 2017 Annual Conference “Are we ready for Automation?”

When: 2:30 PM on Wednesday 24 May 2017
Where:  Havelock North Conference Centre


Proposal to Revise the Constitution

Click here to review the proposed revised Constitution 2017

In 2016 the Board set about a review of itself and the Constitution.

  • The Board recommended to members that its numbers be cut to five of whom at least three should be practising farmers.
  • The Board recognised that our membership is wider than when we were established largely for cropping farmers, and the proposed changes expand the focus to all land based production and more clearly identifies the technology sectors that support it. 
  • The description and classes of membership have also been amended to reflect what is effectively happening. 

A number of Constitution changes are required to formally change the Board size and structure and Membership, and the opportunity was taken to tidy up some other minor aspects.  These were put as a block to the AGM which approved the changes.

Retiring Board Members

In light of the proposed changes to the Constitution, and specifically the recommendation that the Board reduce in size to five members, many of the current Board have signalled their intention to step down. Together they have made a very large contribution.

Those stepping down are:

  • Bruce Searle – Elected 2006
  • Brendan Powell – Elected 2011
  • Paul Munro – Elected 2012
  • Mark Redshaw – Co-opted 2014, Elected 2015
  • Stuart Dykes – Elected 2016
  • Andrew Dawson – Elected 2016

Board Elections

The remaining Board members are:


  • John Evans – farmer/grower (arable)

Board members

  • Simon Wilcox – farmer/grower (vegetables)
  • John van der Linden –  farmer/grower (viticulture)
  • Mark Burgess – researcher (University of Auckland)

One additional member was required and a nomination was been received

  • Oliver Knowles – nominated Mark Redshaw, seconded Matt Flowerday was duly elected

Ollie Knowles is Science Extension Specialist, Precision Agriculture at Ballance Agri-Nutrients based in Mount Maunganui. Ollie joined Ballance in 2010 and initially worked in the sales team before transferring to his current role in science extension. He completed his Bachelor of Agricultural Science Honours degree at Lincoln University, Canterbury.

LandWISE 2017: Are we ready for automation?

In 2017 our 15th Annual Conference focuses on automated tools for data collection, decision making and doing actual tasks on the farm (and beyond).

  • What do you want?
  • What’s on offer?
  • How will farms and management have to change?

We have a comprehensive programme. We’ve gone a bit outside the box to bring a variety including from outside the horticultural and arable sectors. We find cross-pollination and hybrid vigour valuable!

So register, come along and listen to excellent presenters, discuss the ideas with colleagues and go away with new understanding and plans.

Thanks to Our Loyal Platinum Sponsors!
Many thanks to AGMARDT, sponsors of our international presenter, Thibault Delcroix, France

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, John Deere and BASF Crop Protection are our Platinum Sponsors again in 2017. Many thanks to these loyal supporters who have backed the Conference for a number of years.

We also welcome our Gold Sponsors, meal sponsors and  trade displays new and old. These are the organisations that make conferences like this possible and affordable.

Join them and us at the Havelock North Function Centre on 24-25 May 2017 to mix with leading practitioners, farmers, growers, researchers, technology developers and providers.

Register now – click here!


New LandWISE Chair – John Evans

The LandWISE Board recently appointed John Evans as LandWISE Chair, replacing long serving Chair Hugh Ritchie.  We are delighted that John has agreed to take on the Chairmanship role as we navigate a rapidly changing future for farming and for LandWISE itself.

John and partner Kai Tegels farm a 271 ha Arable and Stock property at Dorie in mid-Canterbury, specialising in vegetable seed production. He actively seeks new knowledge and applies it in innovative ways to achieve sustainable development of the farm.

John was an early adopter of GPS autosteer, high accuracy implement guidance and has trialled most precision agriculture technologies, retaining those that demonstrate value and utility in his farming system. He is a sought after research partner across  arable and precision farming and regularly hosts research trials for a range of organisations.

John has been involved with LandWISE since 2004 when he assisted the field testing protocols in the Code of Practice for Irrigation Evaluation with his boom and linear-move irrigators being the first assessed. He has since hosted training courses for people undertaking the National Certification in Irrigation Performance Assessment.

In recent years the farm has seen considerable investment in irrigation development including new technologies and on-farm water storage. John and Kai have an ongoing program planting trees and shrubs to enhance the environment and benefit bees and other beneficial insects.

John noted the strip-tillage work being carried out in Hawke’s Bay and saw a place for it in Canterbury. We arranged a loan of parts from Hugh Ritchie, John built a tool bar and tested the system initially for seed carrot production. He also demonstrated it at a FAR Chertsey field day.

LandWISE links have been maintained through various Sustainable Farming Fund and Foundation for Arable Research projects such as “Short-term forecasting of weather conditions for cropping farmers” which involved assessment of site specific hourly forecasts.

As a farmer member of “Advanced Farming Systems” which included assessing satellite NDVI imagery he was able to identify different plots in a FAR carrot seed trial.

John has maintained a watchful eye on our other initiatives, offering insight and advice.  He featured in the LandWISE publication “A Guide to Smart Farming”.

John completed a B Ag Com degree at Lincoln in 1979. He was instrumental in setting up the Certificate in Seed Technology at Lincoln University and completed its first course in 2000. He is a long standing member of FAR’s Mid-Canterbury ARG, a Board member of Process Vegetables NZ and active in process vegetables research.

John’s knowledge and achievements have been widely recognised, including being awarded the Agronomy Society of New Zealand Certificate of Achievement in Agronomy, winning the Ballance AgriNutrients Nutrient Management award and the WaterForce Integrated management award in the 2012 Canterbury Ballance Environmental Awards, and being a finalist in the Lincoln University Foundation South Island Farmer of The Year and Innovation Finalist in 2011.

LandWISE 2017 Sponsors

Thanks to Our Loyal Platinum Sponsors!

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, John Deere and BASF Crop Protection are our Platinum Sponsors again in 2017. Many thanks to these loyal supporters who have backed the Conference for a number of years.

Many thanks to AGMARDT, sponsors of our international presenter, Thibault Delcroix, France

AGMARDT is again supporting LandWISE activities and providing assistance to bring our international Speaker, Thibault Delcroix from Naio Technologies in France. We are just one of many conferences enhanced by AGMARDT in this way.

We also welcome our Gold Sponsors, meal sponsors and  trade displays new and old. These are the organisations that make conferences like this possible and affordable.

We welcome PGG Wrightson as a new Gold Sponsor in 2017. PGG Wrightson has a close match to the work in which LandWISE is involved and FruitFed Supplies is one of our MicroFarm sponsors.

Horizons Regional Council is again supporting the Field Event and Process Vegetables New Zealand and Vegetables New Zealand continue their overall conference sponsorship. Thank you all.

Vinea and GrowMaps join LandWISE for the first time in 2017.

Apatu Farms, Netafim, Ballance AgriNutrients, Eagle Technologies GPS Control Systems, WaterForce, HydroServices and Plant and Food Research are continuing their solid support with trade display, meal and conference sponsorships.

The field sessions will be held at the LandWISE MicroFarm. This only operates through the high level of support we receive from sponsorship of land, equipment, products and advice.

Thank you to all our sponsor and supporters!


LandWISE 2017 – Our Platinum Sponsors

Thanks to Our Loyal Platinum Sponsors!

The annual LandWISE agritech conference is all the better for the stability of its key sponsors. Who are they and what are the links?

In 2003 we ran our first ever two day conference with Hawke’s Bay Regional Council the main sponsor. This support has continued throughout with Hawke’s Bay Regional Council one of our three platinum sponsors again in 2017, our 15th Annual conference.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is charged with responsibility for the environmental and economic well being of our region. LandWISE has always had this twin focus at farm scale. Our projects typically consider how we can help farmers be financially sustainable in the short term and in environmentally sustainable in the long term. It seems to us these two are interlocked.

In 2013 John Deere became a conference Platinum sponsor and 2017 marks their fifth year in this role. We are delighted that John Deere is once again a Platinum Sponsor of LandWISE Annual Conference.

This long term support  from a company focused on helping farmers through provision of leading technologies also fully matches our society objectives and the theme and purpose of Conference 2017: Are we ready for automation?

BASF Crop Protection joined the Platinum Sponsor group in 2014, the same year they took up sponsorship of the LandWISE MicroFarm. Once again we see a clear alignment with a company focused on developing and supplying products to help farmers achieve their goals.  We experience this at the MicroFarm with BASF Crop Protection and FruitFed Supplies combining to ensure our research crops are  maintained as effectively and efficiently as possible.

We have many other core supporters, not least Ballance AgriNutrients, a conference supporter since 2010 and sponsor of the MicroFarm since 2014.  We value their sponsorship which includes significant input from Horticulture Specialist Mark Redshaw, currently a LandWISE Board member.

MicroFarm pH Mapping

GrowMaps’ pH testing equipment at a Papakura trial site

GrowMaps this week completed the first comprehensive soil pH mapping at the MicroFarm. GrowMaps will have a trade display at the LandWISE 2017 Conference and will be taking part in the Horizons Regional Council field session at the Centre for Land and Water.

GrowMaps principal Luke Posthuma completed the survey, and says his observations as the survey progressed suggest there is a reasonable spread of pH across our relatively small area.

As well as Veris sampling, Luke took a number of soil samples for verification and calibration checks.

The Veris equipment also maps soil electrical conductivity (EC) down to 60cm. Soil EC is a measurement of how much electrical current soil can conduct. It is often an effective way to map soil texture because smaller soil particles such as clay conduct more current than larger silt and sand particles.

Part of the Veris pH mapping is post-survey processing to create the most reliable result. We await the processed maps with considerable interest.

We previously had a similar soil conductivity map provided by AgriOptics and it will be interesting to compare the results.

Variable Rate N Fertiliser – the Value Proposition

Adrian Hunt is a crop scientist at Plant and Food Research.

He recently completed a PhD at the University of Tasmania, investigating Pre-Harvest and Post-Harvest factor effects on the quality of onion bulbs exported to Europe for counter seasonal supply.  He now works across the vegetable and arable sectors to improve yield, profitability and environmental outcomes.

Together with colleagues Joanna Sharp, Paul Johnstone and Bruce Searle, Adrian has been investigating the value proposition for variable rate fertiliser application.

The technology to deliver variable rate fertiliser in an automated manner has advanced substantially in recent years. This has been aided by new or adapted spreading technologies coupled with location awareness using GPS (Global Positioning System). It is now technically possible to distribute fertilisers in a wide range of spatial patterns within a paddock, however the value proposition of variable rate fertiliser application is not thoroughly understood.

The Plant and Food team looked at the difference in productivity, profitability and potential environmental impact of a range of spatial management scales.

Based on a sampling grid of 105 points in a Hawke’s Bay paddock and used mineral N and a N mineralisation assay to quantify the underlying variability in N processes/cycling within the paddock they “grew” both irrigated and unirrigated maize in the crop simulation model APSIM Next Generation for the 105 sampling locations for 35 growing seasons, using long term weather data.

Adrian will present this work and the results at the LandWISE 2017 Conference in Havelock North.