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Considering sacrificing part of their crops

New Zealand growers getting anxious

With some extremely hot weather months looming over them, New Zealand fruit and vegetable growers are pleading for more dams to avoid having to kill off their own crops.

Much of the country has been facing water restrictions after the early dry season. Even the usually rain-soaked West Coast has had to declare drought conditions.

Horticulture NZ president Julian Raine said that near Nelson -the oldest city on the South Island- fruit and vegetable growers had gotten close to having to start, either sacrificing certain crops in favour of others -a potential long-term loss of income- or to water everything sparingly and lose fruit in the short term.

With most of January, and February -the hottest month- still to come, Mr Raine said people are worried the water supply would run dry again soon. He told the community was planning a dam for irrigation as well as an urban supply near Waimea. "We along with Tasman District Council, Nelson City Council and the irrigators are looking at putting in quite a sizeable dam to protect Nelson for the next 100 years."

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