30 Dec 2013

Rain threatens Canterbury's veges

5:00 pm on 30 December 2013

Ongoing wet weather in Canterbury is preventing bees from pollinating this year's vegetable crops.

Damp weather in Canterbury is hampering pollination by bees.

Damp weather in Canterbury is hampering pollination by bees. Photo: PHOTO NZ

About 100 mm of rain has fallen on Mid Canterbury farms since Christmas, causing problems for those who rely on warm, sunny days at this time of year for bee pollination.

Farmers growing flowering crops like potatoes, carrots, peas and radishes say they are starting to get desperate for sunshine.

Darfield farmer Murray Rowlands says the damp weather is threatening an industry that is worth a billion dollars a year to Canterbury.

He says essential bee pollination that usually happens in the last 10 days of December hasn't occurred this year.

Mr Rowlands says pea crops in mid Canterbury are most at threat.