31 Mar 2009

Mild autumn weather predicted

9:17 pm on 31 March 2009

Winemakers and food crop growers are expected to benefit from predicted mild autumn and early winter conditions.

The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research has forecast average and above-average temperatures in all regions over the next three months.

NIWA says there will be more rainfall in the north of the North Island and less on the South Island's east coast.

With harvesting under way, growers say that could mean a bumper crop this season.

Horticulture New Zealand says harvesting without weather issues means the market can be kept supplied, and product prices should not fluctuate.

Winegrowers are also confident the season will deliver, with their harvest expected to be short because favourable weather would speed up the ripening process.