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Survey Highlights Changing Horticulture Industry

Agricultural Production - Horticulture (Final): year ended 30 June 2000

New Survey Highlights Changing Horticulture Industry

Statistics New Zealand released today final results for the Horticulture Survey, first released on 27 February 2001. These results confirm those in the earlier release and provide more information on regional aspects of the data. This is the first survey of horticulture since 1996. It was conducted jointly by Statistics New Zealand and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

The survey confirms the continued growth in horticultural activity over the last decade. The area of land used for horticulture has increased from 87,842 hectares at 30 June 1990 to 128,712 hectares at 30 June 2000.

The major horticulture crops grown in New Zealand are kiwifruit, apples, potatoes and wine grapes. With the exception of wine grapes, these have been the major crops throughout the 1990s. Land planted in wine grapes contributed the largest single increase to horticultural land use between 1990 and 2000. The area planted in wine grapes at 30 June 2000 was 12,665 hectares, which is more than double the area recorded in 1990. At 30 June 2000 there were 12,184 hectares planted in kiwifruit. This compares with 11,900 hectares at 30 June 1995 and 17,500 hectares at 30 June 1990. The area planted in apples at 30 June 2000 was 14,114 hectares. This is more than the 11,333 hectares recorded in 1990 but less than the 1995 estimate of 15,900 hectares. There were 11,816 hectares of potatoes harvested during the year ended June 2000 compared with 10,167 hectares in 1990.

The survey shows that the production of many crops is being concentrated, in particular areas. For example, kiwifruit growing is becoming increasingly concentrated in the Bay of Plenty, the region reported to have the most favourable growing conditions for this fruit. Between 1995 and 2000, the area planted in the Bay of Plenty, as a proportion of the total area planted, rose from 67 per cent to 73 per cent. Apple orchards have become concentrated in the Hawke's Bay and Tasman regions. Together the Hawke's Bay and Tasman regions now account for 76 per cent of New Zealand's apple plantings, compared with 60 per cent in 1990.

In contrast, the growing of wine grapes has increased in most regions since 1990. The new wine grape growing regions of Wellington, Canterbury and Otago are showing significant increases in the plantings of wine grapes. However, the main wine grape areas are Marlborough with 4,881 hectares and the Hawke's Bay with 3,126 hectares. The Marlborough region has shown the strongest growth with its share of the total wine grape plantings increasing from 28 per cent in 1990 to 39 per cent in 2000.

The growth of the vegetable processing industry has contributed to an increase in the land area in use in horticulture. Canterbury has recorded the largest increase in land area in horticulture between 1990 and 2000, an increase of 10,983 hectares. Contributing to this increase are areas harvested in peas (up 2,404 hectares), potatoes (up 1,334 hectares), sweet corn (up 1,111 hectares) and several other processed crops.

Ian Ewing DEPUTY GOVERNMENT STATISTICIAN

END

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