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Limestone Coast potato grower enjoys bumper demand for affordable staple

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Limestone Coast potato grower Terry Buckley says his produce can proceed to be priced “sensibly” as the price of different recent greens rises.

He mentioned customers had been turning to spuds as a result of they had been inexpensive and that processing corporations wanted all of the produce they might get.

“We’re promoting all we are able to develop,” Mr Buckley mentioned.

“If we may develop extra, we are able to promote extra.

He mentioned potatoes had been a very good product as a result of so much them could possibly be grown for a fairly smart value.

“Their use of vitality and water is pretty much as good as any kind of meals crops,” he mentioned.

However Mr Buckley, who sells produce to Australian processors and on the export market, mentioned producers had been being hit with hovering gasoline and fertiliser prices.

A hand holding potatoes in the paddock.
Mr Buckley says worldwide commerce continues to be going through quite a few challenges.(Provided: Buckley Farms)

He mentioned growers had been approaching the “crossroads” for pricing.

He mentioned the Australian market was battling provide points as a result of much less French fries had been being shipped from New Zealand.

“There hasn’t been any refrigerated containers out there to go between Australia and New Zealand,” Mr Buckley mentioned.

“We do all of New Zealand’s wedges — they do not make wedges there, after which they ship French fries again to us.

A farmer stands in front of a harvester.
Mr Buckley says potato manufacturing prices are hovering.(ABC South East SA: Jack D Evans)

Fertiliser prices climb

Mr Buckley mentioned the price of fertiliser had ballooned by greater than 50 per cent, which was dramatically impacting the worth of manufacturing for potato growers.

“Fuels have gone up as effectively, as all people is aware of, and that is affected the price of the transport, significantly getting our potatoes to the processing manufacturing facility,” he mentioned.

Mr Buckley mentioned the trade was additionally battling world sea-freight logistics.

“We ship potatoes abroad and we have had hassle this 12 months with the dearth of containers,” he mentioned.

“[Export ships are] coming all the way down to Melbourne to choose up some spuds and so they’ll get to Sydney, resolve there are not likely sufficient containers in Melbourne to be price choosing up and can flip round in Sydney and return as much as Asia.”

Unwashed potatoes.
Mr Buckley says chip processors want all of the produce they’ll get.(ABC South East SA: Bec Wetham)

Mr Buckley mentioned he hoped the rising value of manufacturing would ease quickly.

“I do not thoughts taking much less cash if the prices are much less,” he mentioned.

“So we hope it is all non permanent, and it’ll blow over at some stage and we’ll be again to one thing extra smart.”

Mr Buckley mentioned inflation hitting the trade was being fuelled by the dearth of provide.

“It is a humorous factor,” he mentioned.

“It isn’t what they name a demand-driven inflation, which almost at all times has been — it is a lack-of-supply-driven inflation.

He mentioned folks had been having to pay extra to get the product as a result of the availability was brief.

“That is not the way in which it usually works,” he mentioned.

“They’re kind of figuring out the best way to deal with that, however it’s completely different to what’s occurred in earlier instances.”

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