Jens Liesebach, KGI Lower North Island Representative
Zespri continues to adopt a multi-faceted approach to address unauthorised SunGold plantings in China, with 4000ha now estimated in the ground. The majority of plantings are located in the Sichuan and Shaanxi provinces in mature orchards (4 plus years old), currently producing around 8,000 trays per hectare and some are producing fruit that is comparable, or exceeds, the Zespri standard. Zespri CEO, Dan Mathieson, has travelled to China to meet with representatives of the Chinese government and industry to discuss a limited due-diligence procurement trial in China. The limited trial, will involve the procurement of up to 200,000 trays of fruit from a small number of selected grower entities.
Zespri will be launching the new Maturity Clearance System early next year. Hawkes’ Bay kiwifruit orchards will have samples collected by Agfirst, Hawke’s Bay. The look and feel of the maturity system will be vastly different to what growers and post harvest providers have become accustomed to, as will the timing around the collection of fruit and release of clearance reports. Zespri will send a link to register for a training session (either in person or online) in early January, along with the link to the system, materials to help get you started, and contact information for the Maturity Support team.
Summer orchard activities are well underway. Male pruning, fruitlet thinning, and vine training is progressing steadily. Strong winds are not helping, but the region has had an extraordinary spell of warm weather, which has pushed fruit size along!
Gisborne authorities have decided a $400,000 per hectare licence to grow gold kiwifruit adds value to the land and have adjusted land valuation methods accordingly. The change means an increase in the Capital Value and Value of Improvements rating value for gold kiwifruit properties. These values are then used for rating purposes, subject to various councils’ rating policies. Property owners were notified of the revaluation changes last week and have until the 29 January to lodge an objection.
2020 has been a rocky year with a lot of curve balls. I hope Christmas will be a time to sit back and relax with family. May Santa bring us plenty of pickers and a fine finish to the growing season.
All the best for 2021.