Apples rot and fall to ground

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Hundreds of thousands of apples are rotting and falling to the ground on a Mid Canterbury orchard.

Apples from the 10ha orchard in the Pendarves area are generally plucked by fruit pickers each March.

The Ashburton Courier understands the off-farm costs of getting the apples to market have been too high to make the operation profitable this year.

The farmer did not want to comment.

New Zealand Apples & Pears was not able to confirm by deadline whether the off-farm costs of getting apples to market, such as packaging, had increased in recent years, or whether growing apples remained a profitable industry.

Meanwhile, apple producer Rockit said recently it was planning on expanding production with more orchards in Canterbury.