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NZ: Family-owned Waikato blueberry farm's crops wiped out by frosts

Monavale Organic Blueberries, located on the Moanatuatua Plains near Cambridge, say they're New Zealand's largest certified organic blueberry grower. They have been operating their 110-acre orchard since 1985.

"On the morning of Friday, October 7, we had the worst frost in the three-generation history of our orchard. It destroyed approximately 90% of our crops," the blueberry growers said. "Temperatures plummeted to -5C in our orchard." 

"Blueberries, unlike some other fruits, only flower and fruit once per year, so we won't get another chance to produce a crop for another 12 months. We flew two helicopters for frost protection, but the weather event was so severe that the helicopters couldn't save the crop."

Monavale Organic Blueberries says it had expected to harvest 300 tonnes of berries between late October into May next year. "Although this will affect our supply chain, we will endeavor to supply our customers with any remaining fruit that has survived the frost."

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