From mid-2016 Bay of Plenty businesses have a new voice, Bay of Plenty Business News. This new publication reflects the region’s growth and importance as part of the wider central North Island economy.
Bay of plenty OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2017 VOLUME 2: ISSUE 16 WWW.BOPBUSINESSNEWS.CO.NZ FACEBOOK.COM/BOPBUSINESSNEWS New Government at last – P6 Green Kiwifruit faces challenge from climate change Te Puke’s claim to be the kiwifruit capital of the world may be endangered later this century unless the industry can come up with some climate change-resistant Green varieties, according to new research. By RICHARD RENNIE trict, climate change was expected to have a generalised effect across the entire Western Bay of Plenty. He added that the work he and Mowat conducted was equally applicable to other fruit crops likely to be affected by the changes, including pipfruit. Using an empirical NIWA climate model and crop data, the latest research has found the diminishing number of the winter chilling nights the Green variety requires will jeopardise its cropping ability, making it marginal The research, carried out by NIWA climate scientist Dr Andrew Tait and Alistair Mowat of Tauranga-based consultants Thought Strategy, focused on the impact of climate change on the high-earning fruit. It paints a less than positive picture for the long-term future of the Green variety. Dr Tait said that while the NIWA research was conducted specifically in the Te Puke disby 2050 and “most likely” not viable by 2100. The traditional temperature drop from May to July results in more flowers on Green vines, and an earlier flowering period. This has been accentuated in recent years by the use of hydrogen cyanamide-based sprays, which promotes bud burst. However, the spray is not without its controversy, and Dr Tait said it may not always be an option with which to counter the loss of winter chilling effects. The research has built on work conducted two decades ago, but now incorporated NIWA temperature data with high resolution mapping. From this they had determined inland areas of Bay of Plenty would provide viable planting areas, and even some districts within the Otago and Canterbury regions. “But we do not think Bay of Plenty is done. It is a well-established industry there and that has to be deeply considered.” Green kiwifruit accounted for 63 percent of the 137 million trays marketed by Zespri in the 2016-17 season, the balance coming mostly from the new Gold variety, which is being planted in increasing numbers. Dr Tait said the most surprising outcome from their research was that regardless of what reductions were achieved in carbon emissions, the decline in vine productivity remained highly likely. “All pathways resulted in a very similar type of scenario as their outcome.” Given the kiwifruit industry’s vertically integrated nature, Dr Continues page 3 Green kiwifruit’s long term prospects may be limited, says Dr Andrew Tait. Photo: NIWA BUSINESS CLAAS CLOUD AS A SERVICE ARRIVALS stratusblue.nz/businessclaas