You will have all heard by now of the devastating hail storm that hit the Hawkes Bay on Wednesday. The storm, that lasted for up to half an hour in places has done serious damage across the entire region. Some pockets; Bayview, Puketapu, Flaxmere Meanee and Whakatu have been particularly hard hit. The storm was so strong that both leaves and flowers were blown off trees. Pipfruit appear to have escaped the damage but feedback from growers indicates that early season summerfruit has been heavily affected.
According to an email from a grower today "the HB crop is pretty smashed by the hail. Later stonefruit with shucks on, look much better thankfully. The damage is worse than I anticipated and the storm very widespread."
While growers do not need to be told to hold off any further thinning until the damage is better known, we do advise growers to seek support if you are struggling with this damage.
For support we recommend that you check out the Rural Support Trust in your area. (Hawkes Bay : www.rural-support.org.nz/Regions/North-Island/East-Coast). While primarily targeted at farmers the Trust does provide support across all primary producers. The trust offers support accessing government support options.