Kiwifruit harvest threatened by Bay of Plenty flooding
Kiwifruit vines in the Bay of Plenty took a direct hit last week and the total cost won't be revealed until the floods drain away. Kiwifruit have been washed clean in the Papamoa surf, while their vines have been sitting in stagnant flood waters.
Kiwifruit grower Cameron Hill said in an interview: "The primary concern is around our vines and our vine health, not sure if you can see but there’s a number of vines that are tipping over due to wet feet simply waterlogged and they eventually turnover and die.“
“We’ve kind of got no choice - we’ll be making some pretty hard decisions in the next six to 12 months - our first focus is to get our current crop off as quickly and as best shape as possible and then we’ll make some decisions. And it might mean that would cut sections out and we just simply can’t grow kiwifruit so if there’s anything that grows in the water let us know."
Packhouses in the Bay of Plenty are also monitoring the situation. "For a small number of growers it's been a devastating flood, they've had their orchards wiped out or significantly damaged,” Seeka Chief Executive, Michael Franks, said.