New Zealand: Historic floods impact kiwifruit sector

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New Zealand: Historic floods impact kiwifruit sector

New Zealand is going through one of the rainiest summers in its history, with historic floods. In fact, January marked the wettest month in 170 years. 

Tropical Cyclone Gabrielle which hit the North Island in the past few days has left several dead and caused significant flooding and landslides. 

As it usually occurs during natural disasters, produce growers have been some of the most affected by this event. 

In particular, kiwifruit growers experienced flooding in their crops with water rising up to three meters high. All growing regions in the North Island have been damaged, some orchards have been completely washed away. 

Crops that were completely lost can take at least three years to get up and running again.

NZKGI chief executive Colin Bond told Rural News in an exclusive interview: “We are concerned about the consequence [for] plant health, which may not be seen until the next season or the season after.” 

“They talk about oxygen starvation, which means if the soil is too wet or there is too much surface water then the plant risks oxygen starvation,” he added. 

Luckily, Bond indicated that the overall loss will be marginal in terms of the national crop.

Source: Rural News 

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