The apple crop in Hawke's Bay, New Zealand, is showing positive signs of recovery following the adverse effects of Cyclone Gabrielle and other unfavorable weather conditions. Danielle Adsett, the market access manager for NZ Apples and Pears, mentioned that the surviving apple trees are blooming and looking promising. The favorable spring conditions have contributed to a more optimistic outlook for the current season, with good conditions for pollination.
While some growers are cautiously optimistic about the crop appearing on the trees, others continue to face financial strain due to the challenges experienced in the previous year. Orchards that have survived the cyclone are recovering, but there are growers who have lost parts or all of their orchards, facing significant challenges in replanting and recovery.
Approximately 2000 hectares of apples in Hawke's Bay and Tairawhiti were initially considered at risk, but many trees on that land have survived, alleviating some of the industry's concerns. Adsett acknowledged the tough times for growers who have lost their orchards.
Despite the positive signs, there is an awareness that some trees may still face challenges in the coming years, and the effects of the cyclone are not entirely over. Adsett highlighted the variability in outcomes, with the survival rate being influenced by factors such as the application of plant stimulants and the drainage quality of the land.
While recent heavy rain may have caused some issues in Gisborne, it is seen as timely in Hawke's Bay, increasing soil moisture levels ahead of a predicted dry summer. The crucial assessment of the Hawke's Bay apple crop will be revealed in January when NZ Apples and Pears announces its crop estimate for the season.