The warm winter in New Zealand, with some of the highest temperatures recorded in 110 years, is threatening this year’ kiwifruit crop. The New Zealand Herald reports that kiwifruit growers in the Bay of Plenty are concerned about another challenging growing season: “Bay of Plenty-based Fruition Horticulture consultant Sandy Scarrow said the winter was one of the warmest she could remember, which meant the vines were not getting the required winter chilling.”
Last year’s crop also suffered from poor flowering because of the warm temperatures, but this year’s lack of chilling has been even worse. Bay of Plenty is the largest kiwifruit growing region in New Zealand, with around 80% of area planted.
At Zespri, the estimated export volume for the 2023 season is 136 million trays, which represents a 20.5% decrease compared with the 171 million trays recorded for the 2022 season, according to data provided by the company.