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A Plant and Food Research investigation has revealed that large areas of North Canterbury and South Marlborough that were quake-stricken have good potential for horticulture. Several crops were identified as part of the study that could be planted including apples, grapes, hazelnuts and walnuts. Post Quake Farming (PQF) commissioned the project, which included classifying land-use capability, growing degree days and frost-free periods. The study is now in a ground truthing stage, with visits to farmers to discover what has been successfully grown in the areas previously. PQF plans to work with farmers to complete climate surveys on their farms and will encourage them to plant small crops which in return may also help reduce water leaching from dairy farms.
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