Rain hinders Daly potato harvest

HEAVY rains are hindering potato harvests in the south of the state and could contribute to a potential shortage in supermarkets. Dunalley potato growers Daly Potato Company have had their harvest hampered hindered by heavy rains.

“We still can’t get into our paddocks and at this stage it’s well over 20 per cent of our crop still sitting in the ground,” Ruby Daly said. “It’s been consistent over the past three years where we’re getting the same volume of seasonal rain but in less rain events and in a shorter period of time.”

Dunalley saw almost four times the rain in May this year than in 2020 and almost three times that of 2021. In June 70mm fell and consistent rain events continue to hamper any opportunity for the fields to dry. Ms Daly said if the weather doesn’t ease soon they will have to harvest in the mud which may significantly damage the crop yield. The alternative of leaving the crop in the ground makes it extremely susceptible to rot.

“We have 2,000 to 3,000 tonnes still in the ground which is supposed to get us through to the new season. “We’d usually we have that in a cool store by now so the sooner we can get to them out of the paddocks the better. “Ground storing is unusual for us as we can’t get ahead of the demand. “If we don’t get to them, we will have no supply quite soon.”