4 Feb 2010

Squash growers still confident after heavy rain

12:36 pm on 4 February 2010

A company that grows buttercup squash from Wairoa to Waipukurau doesn't believe recent heavy rain will have a major effect on its export programme to Japan.

Brownrigg Agriculture, which produces more than 15,000 tonnes of the vegetable annually, is one of the largest growers in New Zealand.

A director, Jonathan Brownrigg, says rainfall last Sunday and Monday varied from about 150mm in parts of northern Hawke's Bay to 60mm further south.

Meanwhile, Gisborne-based Leaderbrand, the largest grower, packer and exporter of buttercup squash, suffered no flood damage from the weekend rain.

The annual crops manager, Richard Burke, says that after a four-day break because of the rain the company got back into squash harvesting on Thursday, though it has already harvested sweetcorn, melons and broccoli for a couple of days this week.

The company grows large areas of those and other vegetables on the Gisborne flats and around Tolaga Bay.