24 Nov 2010

Kumara crop threatened by lack of rain

6:00 am on 24 November 2010

Kumara growers in Northland say this year's crop is under threat because of a lack of rainfall in the region.

Northland produces nearly 95% of the country's kumara crop and there has been no significant rainfall there over the past two months.

Dargaville grower Andre De Bruin says paddocks are dry and cracks have started to appear in the ground.

He says growers are having to bring in water in carts to irrigate the ground so that plants can get established.

Mr De Bruin says it is much drier than it was this time last year, when a drought developed.

The Delta growers' co-operative says the dry conditions are very serious for growers and the industry.

Director John John Adolf says they could lose this year's crop if there is not some rain soon.

Mr Adolf is using tractors full-time to break up the parched ground to conserve as much moisture as he can and he hopes that the region will receive some rain soon.