19 May 2009

Kiwifruit loss from hail estimated at 2.5 million trays

9:01 am on 19 May 2009

Preliminary estimates of damage to Bay of Plenty kiwifruit crops from last week's severe hail storms put losses at more than 2.5 million trays of fruit.

The hail swept through parts of the eastern Bay of Plenty last Monday, hitting many orchards with more than half of their crop still be harvested.

Corporate and grower services director, Carol Ward, says most of the earlier maturing gold kiwifruit had already been picked, so it was the green variety which sustained the heaviest damage.

She says an estimated 2.4 million trays of green and 260,000 trays of gold kiwifruit may have been affected by hail.

Ms Ward says this represents 3% of the green kiwifruit crop and less than 1% of the gold kiwifruit crop, however there will be no impact on supply or exports.

She says it takes a few days for bruising to show up on hail-damaged kiwifruit, and insurance assessors will update the loss estimate when they visit affected orchards in the next week or so.