Affects of Cyclone Gabrielle

They say a week is a long time in politics, I was thinking of that statement as I watched our fields get inundated with the waters of Cyclone Gabrielle a week or so back. How much things can change in a single week when you are a grower too! The amount of water that flowed through some areas where we had never seen it flow before, was mind boggling.

However, we feel very lucky compared to Hawkes Bay and East Coast. The floods around Dargaville and Ruawai didn’t carry the volume of silt or slash and there was no loss of life here. We feel for the people in those regions, especially those who have lost loved ones, and we applaud the amazing work of the response teams.

There would not be one kumara grower in our region that didn’t see his or her hard labour swamped by the floodwaters, and we were all left feeling how long will it be until our industry recovers? One particular issue will be finding good seed kumara for next years crop. Almost 100% of growers are yet to start harvest and would have initially intended to begin harvesting within the next two weeks. The situation now is still evolving but it appears some growers have lost their entire 2023 crop and almost all others will be affected badly by rot.

2023 will be a challenging year for kumara supply and our volumes will be massively down but Fieldco are thankful to have a spread of plantings at various stages and we will be working hard to keep finding solutions for our customers in both fresh and frozen.