Another month has rolled by with most crops looking promising at this stage. We are still getting rain every 7-10 days which is always good for fruit growth and young trees that have been planted. We are told the El Niño season is likely to come in from around mid-January so we could be in for a dry harvest season which will be nice.
Most growers have started to thin their crops. Summerfruit a few weeks ago with apple growers now starting to get into the swing of things. Some growers are experiencing quite a heavy fruit drop on their blocks especially if the trees were in wet soggy ground this past year.
Last week HBFA held its annual fishing competition with a record turnout of boats and registrations. A special thankyou to all our sponsors as we couldn’t hold this event without your generous support. Thanks to Bex Tacon (our new events lead), the organising committee and of course all the growers who came out to the comp. The fishing was fantastic with plenty of snapper. I was fortunate to be onboard the boat “Stampede” which caught the biggest snapper of the day at 8.67kg – well done to Andrew Dillon who reeled it in.
Over the last 18 months our GM Dean Smith has done an outstanding job for the association. He came in on a short-term contract, which was updated earlier this year following the Cyclone. Dean is moving on from his role with HBFA but will remain in our industry. He finishes fulltime next week but will continue supporting the association for 2 days a week until mid-January. The executive committee would like to thank Dean for the hard work, commitment, and passion he has for the wellbeing of our industry and its people. He has been instrumental in mobilising our Cyclone Recovery Fund and establishing the Hawke’s Bay Horticulture Advisory Group (HBHAG) which he currently chairs. The HBHAG has served to bring the wider horticultural sector together and advocate for impacted growers throughout the region. The commitment of HBFA in these areas will continue and I encourage those materially impacted by the Cyclone to stay engaged and apply for the support on offer.
We are currently concluding a recruitment process and hope to be able to make an announcement next month regarding Dean’s replacement.
Kia kaha Brydon Nisbet