Salad Giant’s Crops Damaged by Torrential Downpour

photo credit: LeaderBrand

Farming practices have to adapt to increasingly volatile weather, said Leaderbrand chief executive Richard Burke.

The downpour that flooded Gisborne damaged Leaderbrand crops that were due to be covered by a mega-greenhouse currently under construction. The unfortunate timing left the growing giant mopping up and assessing the damage to its spinach, rocket and corn crops.

Some areas around Gisborne received more than 200 millimetres of rain on Thursday - almost triple the average for November.

Although this was not the worst storm Leaderbrand has weathered, such events are becoming more frequent as the country's climate continues to change, said Burke.

Leaderbrand monitors the weather daily and is continually trying to mitigate negative weather impacts where possible.

Burke said they were extremely lucky to be able to distribute their crop supply across its multiple farms around the country.

With farms in the South Island, Matamata and Pukekohe, Leaderbrand could increase its production as needed to ensure vegetables could still be supplied in the coming weeks.

Burke hoped the new greenhouse will prevent crop damage from any future weather events.

Foundations for the greenhouse were underway, and the structure was starting to come off the ground.

If the greenhouse were already built, the shelter would have saved all the crops, Burke lamented.

Huge greenhouses are common in places like Europe and Japan, but there are few in New Zealand, and none are used to grow crops directly in the ground.

Read more about Leaderbrand's new greenhouse here.