Cultivation/Production, Pests and Diseases, Seed

Australia: Perfect potatoes go to waste over psyllid pest

Potato farmers Trevor Barker and Colin Ayres with potatoes destined to become cattle feed.Seed potato growers have started dumping the first of their perfectly good potatoes as interstate borders remain closed after the detection of the tomato potato psyllid pest in WA. Albany grower Trevor Barker said he had fed around 60 tonnes to his cattle and had another 250 tonnes which would likely follow in coming weeks. His neighbour, Colin Ayres, who is president of the WA Seed Potato Growers Association, expects he will need to dump his first batch within two weeks from a total 1500 tonnes stockpiled. Seed potatoes are worth between $650 and $1100 a tonne, depending on variety. Growers would also soon need to decide whether to plant a crop for next year amid the uncertainty about whether their produce could be sent interstate. More

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