2 Nov 2009

Hawke's Bay fruit growers assess hail damage

7:25 am on 2 November 2009

Hawke's Bay fruit growers are assessing the damage to pip and stonefruit crops from a series of hailstorms that swept through the region late last week.

Hawke's Bay is the country's biggest apple and pear growing region.

Fruit growers president Leon Stallard says according to early estimates, up to 10% of the region's export apple crop may have been damaged.

Mr Stallard says not very many areas in Hawke's Bay avoided the hail, but the degree of damage varies.

He believes between 500,000 to 1 million cartons of export fruit may have been lost and not all growers will have hail insurance.

Mr Stallard says many growers are facing a bleak year financially, with the hail damage coming on top of cold conditions during flowering and fruit setting which will also lower production.