30 Sep 2010

Sweet corn and pea plantings being reduced

12:53 pm on 30 September 2010

Sweet corn and pea crops are being reduced this season as vegetable processors cut back on contracts.

Horticulture New Zealand's says processors have asked growers to plant fewer peas and sweet corn this season because stocks from last season have built up in freezers.

Vegetable group manager Chris Ward says grower contract prices have also dropped by up to 20% as a result.

"I think it's just a consequence of the recession," he said.

Mr Ward says about 100,000 tonnes of sweet corn and less than 59,000 tonnes of peas are expected to be produced this year.

Prices are markedly cheaper in some areas than others.

Pea crop planting areas in Hawke's Bay and also in Canterbury have contracted markedly.

In 2008, 121,000 tonnes of sweet corn and 66,000 tonnes of corn were produced.