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Northland avocado growers heavily affected by Cyclone Gabrielle

Next season’s avocado crop has already been extensively damaged by Cyclone Gabrielle. Maungatapere avocado grower Mike Eagles said next year’s avocado harvest was “already hopeless” because of the damage the fruit and trees had sustained from rain and wind. His ten-hectare orchard was already “absolutely hammered” by Monday morning, with rain gauges overflowing a day before the worst of the cyclone was expected, Eagles said.

That amount of fruit loss would have a significant impact on the income from the orchard, Eagles said. Fruit would be downgraded to lower quality grades. Eagles said in a good year about 80% of his fruit would be exported but last year only about 40% was exported because of another severe storm. He expected even less fruit would be good for export after Cyclone Gabrielle.

Damage to citrus crops will only be determined after the cyclone passed. There would also be a loss of blueberries after small sections of blueberry tunnels were dislodged because soils were extremely wet.


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