Richard Pentreath, KGI Lower North Island Representative
Orchards are generally in very good shape as we count down to flowering. Early canopy development has been strong and thankfully we have seen a return to more typical flower numbers on Gold3 vines which will allow growers to target higher yields. On the flip side, most Gold3 crops will require significant thinning both pre and post flowering to optimise crop load and fruit quality. Labour supply has been OK earlier in the month but, in my experience it is now becoming difficult to find extra people to help with thinning work.
Latest reports from Zespri suggest average tray returns from the 2019/2020 crop will be close to forecast figures for both Green and Gold. Looking ahead to the 2020/2021 crop, Zespri are encouraging growers to target a larger size profile which will help them achieve optimal market mix which in turn will optimise our orchard gate return. This suggests growers should be careful if planning to carry high fruit numbers, especially if Hawkes Bay is likely to experience another dry growing season.
After nearly four years, I have decided to step down as the KGI Forum Representative for Hawke’s Bay and Lower North Island. My last Forum meeting will be October 20th and Jens Liesebach, who has been nominated for the role, will take over duties thereafter. I have really enjoyed my time on the KGI Forum and it has been a privilege to represent Hawke’s Bay growers. I know Jens will be a great replacement so please make a point to connect with Jens and share your views on kiwifruit industry matters. KGI is an important vehicle for kiwifruit growers and as growers it is important that we participate to ensure Zespri hears our collective voice in the regions.
All the best.