Wednesday, 08 November 2023 07:25

Kiwifruit bouncing back?

Written by  Peter Burke
There are encouraging signs that this season’s kiwifruit crop will be a good one. There are encouraging signs that this season’s kiwifruit crop will be a good one.

There are encouraging signs and hopes that this season's kiwifruit crop will be a good one.

NZ Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated (NZKGI) chief executive Colin Bond says it's still early days, with bud burst starting, but things are looking positive without being exceptional.

"But again, remember, it's early days yet," he told Hort News.

Bond says Hawke's Bay was the kiwifruit area most impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle, and people need to appreciate how long it's going to take for some growers in that region to get back on their feet.

He says in addition to the damage caused by silt, there remains concerns about vine roots saturated by the heavy rain. He reckons it'll be a couple of months - maybe longer - before growers know the health status of their vines. "It's still a bit of an open question on how the plants will survive in the coming months."

Bond says it may take years for some growers to fully recover from Cyclone Gabrielle and during that time they will need support. He says it is a marathon and not a spring and NZKGI will be closely monitoring badly affected growers to ensure they are properly supported throughout their long recovery.

He is worried there is a risk their plight will disappear from the notice of the media and adds that NZKGI will do all it can to make the public aware of the plight of some people.

"NZKGI will be watching the situation and delivering to the needs of affected growers or bringing in other experts to talk to them," Bond adds.

He says most growers are cautiously optimistic about the coming season and the spring is looking positive.

There is also hope that El Nino will have a positive impact on the growing season. Bond believes the issue will be having the right access to water to balance any drought impact.

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