The first cherries of the season are being picked in Marlborough, while wet and wild spring weather has taken a toll on orchards in the main growing regions of Hawke's Bay, Marlborough and Central Otago.
Bernie Rowe, who has nine hectares of cherry trees at Spring Creek north of Blenheim, says picking began on his orchard last week, about four days later than the previous year.
He says the first batch is headed for Wellington this weekend.
Picking for export will begin in early December, when a third of his crop is destined for Japan and South Korea.
Mr Rowe says all the crops have been very light because of the damp, cold October.