9 Nov 2012

Whanganui kiwifruit growers on alert after frosts

10:22 pm on 9 November 2012

Kiwifruit growers in the Whanganui area are on tenterhooks after a rare run of hard frosts.

Alistair Polson, who farms in the Mangamahu hill country and also has a four-hectare kiwifruit block, says the district can usually count on getting several good frosts a year, but this year have had 40 since May.

Mr Polson says it will attack the buds and is damaging a small percentage of the new leaves on the vines. It's not certain how that might affect production in the long term, he says.

He says water systems and windmill type blowers can be used to protect the vines.

Central Otago wine growers are waiting to see the extent of damage to their vines from a severe frost there earlier in the week.