Monday, February 26, 2024

Onion growers hopeful of good harvest

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Gains will help with losses sustained in last year’s Auckland floods.
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Pukekohe vegetable growers are hopeful of a good harvest this season as they try to claw back the losses they made after the devastating flooding over the Auckland Anniversary weekend last year.

January 27 last year was Auckland’s wettest day on record and the deluge flooded paddocks and broke infrastructure, causing widespread damage in both urban and rural areas.

It wrecked most of the district’s onion and potato crops. The onions had been lifted out of the soil for drying and were sitting on top of the paddock for collection.

The flooding collected these vegetables like a wave and deposited them in nearby drains and ditches, making them unsellable.

South Auckland Vegetable Growers Association president Kirit Makan said most growers had recovered well, this year’s crop is looking promising, and he is optimistic about how the season is shaping up.

The drier weather has allowed growers to get crops off the ground with both potato and onion crops looking good so far.

“Everything’s looking on a par with previous years. They’re looking okay, as a whole, they’re looking pretty good,” he said.

The association represents several hundred growers, from South Auckland through to Walkworth in the north.

Makan said the flooding had taken an economic toll on the region’s growers. The flooding’s financial impact varied from grower to grower, but a good return this year could help make up for last year’s losses.

“It could well take a couple of seasons, but in saying that those seasons will have to go well as well.”

Those growers with leafy greens in the ground also struggle because of the conditions and losses across the board vary, he said.

“I think if we have a good harvest and a good pack-out on the onion crops, it might right the boat hopefully.”

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