The annual kiwifruit harvest is getting under way with about 120 kiwifruit growers in Northland expected to pick a $40 million share of New Zealand's largest fresh fruit horticultural export.
More than 2500 growers produce kiwifruit on 12,000ha throughout New Zealand.
In the 2015/16 season, Zespri - the country's sole kiwifruit exporter to anywhere other than Australia - sold 131 million trays, earning around $2billion.
While the national crop this season is forecast to be slightly down on last year, NZ Kiwifruit Growers says it is still shaping up to be a good harvest.
Crops of the SunGold variety this season are expected to be significantly more than last season while the green Hayward variety will be down.
The kiwifruit industry is recovering from being hit by the bacterial kiwifruit vine disease Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae (Psa) in 2010 and Northland, like most other regions in New Zealand, has been significantly affected by its impact.
In the Whangarei district, growers have worked hard to stop the disease from establishing and Psa has had little direct effect on orchards in this area.
But in Kerikeri, Kiwifruit Vine Health statistics show the Psa is present on around 75 per cent of orchards and Bay of Islands growers have adopted best management practices to keep the disease under control and limit its impact.
Kiwifruit growers around the country are overcoming Psa by replacing the Hort16A gold kiwifruit variety, which is highly-susceptible to the disease, with the more tolerant SunGold gold and organic gold Gold3 variety, and this transition has had an associated cost for all growers.
Zespri figures show there were 224ha of gold and organic gold Hort16A kiwifruit in Northland in the 2013/14 season, 213ha in 2014/15 and 172ha last season.
Meanwhile, the region's Gold3 crop expanded from 16ha in 2013/14 to 62ha in 2014/15 and 122ha last season.
Hort16A gold had the highest production figures from the total of 421ha of kiwifruit in Northland orchards supplying Zespri last season, with 2,086,876 trays equivalent (TE) from 172ha, followed by 889,256TE of green kiwifruit from 116ha, 744,688TE of Gold 3 from 122ha, 93,717TE of the Gold 9 variety from 9ha, 4243TE of sweet green kiwifruit (Green14) from 1ha and 3983TE of organic green variety from 1ha.
Of the 3.82 million trays of kiwifruit produced in Northland for export last season, about 1.3 million are understood to have been grown in the Whangarei district with most of the rest in the Bay of Islands.