3 May 2010

Tough tomato season

10:42 am on 3 May 2010

Watties has finished harvesting and processing its tomato crop after what's being called the "toughest tomato season in decades" in Hawke's Bay.

Agronomist Nigel Halpin says it's been the coldest, wettest growing season for 50 years. There was more rain than during Cyclone Bola.

He says the harvest was saved by an drier-than-usual harvest period and the ability of the growers to maximise the crop.

Mr Halpin says Watties ended up with a harvest of about 33,000 tonnes of tomatoes, from 415 hectares.

In contrast to that crop, Watties had a bumper season for fruit and other vegetables in its 75th anniverary year.

It processed 36% more fruit than last year and double the tonnage of corn.

In the South Island, it had record harvests of peas and broad beans.