2 Apr 2011

Apple season underway

7:52 am on 2 April 2011

Apple growers in the Nelson/Motueka regions are having a good season so far.

Country Life reports fruit size and colour are excellent.

Currently red braeburn picking is underway and the jazz variety is finishing up.

The apple harvest is also in full swing in Central Otago.

Fuji and royal gala are in the packing sheds as are Cox's, which have bounced back after a disappointing yield last year.

Pacific queens and jazz picking has started and braeburns are not far off. Pack outs are described as reasonable.

Grape harvesting is also underway.

But the hop crop in Nelson/Motueka has not fared so well this year.

Country Life reports yields are down 30% - 50% on last year. But growers are selling as much as they can produce and will end up with little to no surplus this winter.

The first shipment of gold kiwifruit bound for Japan, left the port of Tauranga on Wednesday.

The green crop is taking a while to mature so the next shipment is being held back until early next week.

Country Life reports this season is later than the last two, but is in line with average seasons before that.