Jens Liesebach, KGI Lower North Island Representative
The 2021 kiwifruit harvest kicked off in Gisborne two weeks ago (week 9), with early blocks in Hawke’s Bay starting last week (week 10). The 2021 season forecast is set to be record-breaking, with more kiwifruit produced than ever before.
A number of growers have been affected by positive residue tests this season as a result of Zespri’s stringent residue testing programme. This serves as a timely reminder for all growers of the need to carefully manage spray drift, particularly between neighbouring properties.
The Zespri Roadshow last week, covered the latest progress in regards to the unauthorised plantings of approximately 4000 hectares of G3 in China. It is thought that legal action on its own won’t be enough to manage G3 plant material in China and therefore a partnership with Chinese state and local government might be the best way forward. Zespri is proposing a trial phase of up to three years which will require an approval by the kiwifruit growers. A Producer vote will be held later this year.
NZKGI CEO, Nikki Johnson discussed the impact of the hail event in Motueka in December 2020. The loss to the affected kiwifruit growers will be approximately $21m but there is only $7m worth of industry hail insurance cover for Gold 3. For this reason, NZKGI is running a survey on its webpage to seek grower’s views on how to deal with this shortcoming of hail insurance cover.
This was also Nikki’s last roadshow, as she resigned from her position in order to take up a new role as a Strategic Projects Manager with Zespri in Italy. We thank Nikki for her excellent service to the kiwifruit and wider fruit growing industry.
Good luck with harvest.