New Zealand, Australia, Trends, Weather/Climate

Potato shortage looms in Tasmania after ‘worst’ planting season in 40 years

Fertiliser prices have soared, the cost of farming equipment has gone up and unrelenting rain means the potato season is behind schedule. As Meg Powell reports for The Advocate, Tasmania could be in for a potato shortage, growers have warned.

Yolla’s Brett Neal has been growing potatoes for about 40 years, weathering various droughts, rains, and ups and downs in the market. But it seems a series of unfortunate events have set up this season to be his, and many other growers’, toughest yet. “1988 was a shocker of a year,” he said. “But we still had more in the ground than we do now.”

Agricultural manager at Ulverstone’s Simplot factory Jo Tubb said Simplot growers had got about 70 per cent of their crop in, which was behind schedule. Simplot earlier this year negotiated a fertiliser subsidy with growers, to help meet the growing costs.

Source: The Advocate. Read the full story here
Photo: Tasmanian Seed potato grower Brett Neal. Courtesy The Advocate

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