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Summer Crops Survey Results

Maize and sweetcorn retain the top spot as the most grown crop in Tairāwhiti over the summer months.

The Environmental Science Team from Gisborne District Council has completed the ninth summer crop survey, this one’s for the 2023/24 summer season.

It details the type, location and total area of different summer crops across the district. A total of 24,376 hectares were surveyed with almost half being summer crops. (The survey results exclude pasture, not-visible and tilled land).

Council Sustainable Futures Director Joanna Noble says the survey provides information about where and what crops are grown, and if cropped areas are triggering cultivation setback rules within the Freshwater Chapter of the Tairāwhiti Resource Management Plan (TRMP).

Maize and sweetcorn account for about 44 percent of all crops surveyed in Tairāwhiti. The most recent summer crop survey (2023/24) found it covered an area of 5,248 hectares.

Grapes covered 1,545 hectares making it the second most abundant summer crop in the region, accounting for nearly 13 percent of the total summer crops surveyed.

The total area of citrus crop for the 2023/24 summer survey was 1,475 hectares (12.3 per cent of total summer crops). The citrus category encompasses oranges, lemons, mandarins, limes and grapefruits. They are grouped together due to their similarity in appearance and management.

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The area of kiwifruit recorded in this summer’s crop survey was 822 hectares. It was the fourth most abundant crop in the region, contributing to just under seven percent of the summer crops surveyed.

The most abundant crop varies across the region and in different catchments. Maize/sweetcorn were the most abundant crop type on the Poverty Bay Flats, Te Karaka/Whatatutu, and the East Coast/Uawa/Tokomaru Bay areas making up 40.1, 58 and 67.8 percent respectively. Chicory was the most abundant crop in the East Cape/Ruatorea region making up 52 percent of all summer crops, while baleage dominated in the Motu/Matawai area (representing 54.2 percent of summer crops).

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