Growers of top fruit and grape in the Hawkes Bay area were due to meet late last week to receive advice on how to estimate damage to their crops following three frosts in as many weeks.

Information will be crucial for some of the growers so they know whether or not to thin their trees or whether the frost has carried out a thinning role already.

Agronomists have warned that it will be about a month before details of damage to apple and pear crops is known but the effects on summer lines such as stone fruit, persimmon, grape and melon will be known sooner.

In some places in the Hawkes Bay area, temperatures have fallen as low as 1°C when seasonal averages are around the 8.2°C mark. Damage is likely to be frost burn and killing off bud growth. Some growers have even been hit by more than one frost.

Meanwhile, kiwifruit growers hit by frost in the Bay of Plenty earlier in the month are facing a worrying situation with regard to insurance claims. More than 300 claims have been filed but growers face seeing their cover drop with each year of claims as the percentage of excess charged rises.

Industry analysts warn that some may consider not ensuring their orchards in the future and others may quit growing the new gold cultivar. Gold flowers earlier than green kiwifruit leaving it more prone to frost damage.