It has been a tough start to the year for cherry growers, with around 50 million dollars in exports potentially being lost from Central Otago orchards.
Heavy rain at the start of the month caused flooding which brought major damage to fruit ready to be harvested.
Although the full extent has yet to be quantified, it is feared up to 50 per cent of the season’s bumper cherry crop has been lost due to splitting.
Summer Fruit New Zealand chairman Tim Jones told Tim Dower some orchards have been completely wiped out.
"A couple of blocks we've had to walk away from the crop completely, but most growers are finding that once things have dried out there is some fruit to go back to, and they're getting the staff back out into the fields to sort through the damaged fruit."
Jones says there is concern the impacts could stretch beyond the current season.
He says some trees were sitting in water up to a metre deep and in waterlogged soil, which could influence next year's crop.