Jens Liesebach, KGI Lower North Island Representative
Welcome to a new year. On orchard activities like male pruning and dry matter girdling are progressing, however the upcoming harvest is at the forefront of many people’s minds.
NZKGI CEO Colin Bond shared a very valuable message recently. “Collaboration will be key in order to mitigate risks surrounding the upcoming harvest. This means both collaboration between industry stakeholders, as well as with the growers around you. When we all pitch in collectively and work together as a team, we increase the chance of a successful harvest. Let’s keep working hard, check in on the people around you to make sure they’re ok and get through this safely and successfully.”
I like the idea of setting up a buddy system with your neighbours. The aim would be to help each other out if one is grounded due to Covid and if there is spare picking capacity. Who is your buddy? I am happy to help to find you one.
Other steps to help you navigate your way through the Covid threat are summarised below:
- It is recommended that any kiwifruit business with their own staff registers as critical work place which allows you be part of the Close Contact Exemption Scheme during phase 2 and 3. Register here
- Determine if a worker is a close contact use these charts here
- Steps on what to do if you have an infected worker here
- Develop and review your business continuity plan here
- Understand the Covid protocols here
- Financial support is available for employers and employees: Leave Support Scheme and Short Term Absence.
These times can be stressful and very demanding. NZKGI created a series of pastoral care podcasts to promote stress management and work/life balance. In the latest podcast, Apata’s managing director Stu Weston gives a very personal account of his experiences and shares some useful tips to ensure work doesn’t define who we are, plus he also gives suggestions on how to deal with life’s stressors. Listen to the podcast here.
While the fruit is growing nicely on the vines, attention should be given to pre-harvest intervals of chemicals when spraying. Zespri will conduct a mandatory residue test for every KPIN to ensure that the fruit meets market expectations. In these tests last year, kiwifruit related and non-kiwifruit related chemicals were detected. To minimise the risk check the latest crop protection standard here and talk to your neighbour about mitigating spray drift from late applications.
Zespri is going to hold its roadshow for Hawke’s Bay growers on Thursday 3 March at 8:30am at The Crown Hotel, Corner Bridge Street and Harding Road, Ahuriri, Napier. Due to Covid protocols growers must register here.
Hope to see you there.