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Prices to be high until February

Aussies suffering a potato shortage

Australia is looking at a potato shortage due to floods cleaning out crops across the country and wet ground making it near impossible to plant more potatoes, meaning consumers will have to pay a small fortune for the starchy vegetable until at least February.

It’s not good news coming into barbecue season, with potato salads and potato bakes likely to be off the menu and hipsters may also need to give up their weekend potato rosti.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics said, in 2004 Australians were chomping through 63kg of mash, chips and other potato pleasures every year.

Brushed potatoes, the tasty ones covered in dirt, are what’s in low supply and Fairfax Media reports Aussie Farmers Direct has told customers it will only deliver red skin potatoes at the moment.

Potatoes are currently sold for about $3.50 a kilo at major supermarkets but that price is expected to hike as supply becomes limited.

Victorian potato grower Des Jennings said he would need a crystal ball to predict when potatoes would be replenished but thought it would be early next year.

Usually at this time of year, Mr Jennings has planted two thirds of his potato crop, but he said he isn’t even close to planting half because of how heavy rain has affected the soil.

Mr Jennings picked his potato crop four months ago and sold it for about $400 a tonne.

But now potatoes are going for up to $2000 a tonne, showing just how desperate people are becoming to get their hands on the vegetable.
“The growers who have potatoes are laughing,” Mr Jennings said.

“They are getting prices they haven’t seen before".

“But obviously a lot of farmers don’t have potatoes, which is why we have a shortage.”

Mr Jennings said demand had been constant for many years, and weather was the main blame for the shortage.


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