If the rains continue in Tasmania, chips could be in short supply this summer. They'll likely be more expensive due to soaring fertilizer prices and a jump in payments to farmers. This comes off the back of a tough year for growers, including months of "tense" negotiations over this season's crop prices.
It is understood prices have finally been signed off at Tasmania's two major processors, Simplot and McCain Food Services. Potato grower and contractor Stuart Applebee was on the negotiating committee for Simplot, and said it had taken nearly half a year to come to a price with which both parties were happy. Simplot initially offered an extra $105 a ton but farmers argued it was not enough to cover the cost of growing their crop, which was about $20,000 a hectare.
Over at McCain, which contracts about 70 growers, negotiations in light of rising input costs had also been running at length. It seems that an agreement was recently reached.