14 Oct 2010

Gisborne rain destroys many crops

7:47 pm on 14 October 2010

Growers in Gisborne say further heavy rainfall has caused more damage, leaving many crops underwater and destroyed.

Up to 200 millimetres of rain has fallen in the Gisborne area since Wednesday night, forcing the evacuation of eight homes north of Tolaga Bay and flooding fields of maize, sweet corn, squash and tomatoes on the Poverty Bay flats.

There was a break in the weather on Thursday but the heavy rain returned in the afternoon.

The chair of the Gisborne growers' association, Ron Prebble, says some crops such as tomatoes could survive the deluge; but freshly planted squash and sweetcorn seed will rot rather than germinate.

Mr Prebble says many crops will have to be resown, which is another cost growers don't need.