The cherries are early this year and it’s looking like a bumper crop too, says an Otago orchardist.
45 South owns and manages more than 150 hectares of orchards near Cromwell in Central Otago and produces 30 to 40 percent of New Zealand's export cherries.
General manager of 45 South, Tim Jones, says the cherry season is running early and picking is due to start in early December.
“We’re seven to ten days earlier than normal and it’s probably one of the earliest seasons I’ve ever seen because of the quite kind and benign spring weather. We expect to start picking mainstream varieties in the first week of December.
That picking normally happens in mid-December, he says. And there’s set to be plenty of good cherries to pick.
“We’ve got a very big crop out there on the trees, so there’ll be no issue with volume to supply markets and the nice kind weather we’ve had so far in spring has been fantastic for getting the crop to where it is now, we just really want the weather to stay warm and dry leading up to harvest and during harvest.”