Hot chip shortage strikes Australia as potato supplies dry up across the country
- Australians face hot chip shortage just weeks before Christmas after wild storm
- Potato farms in Ballarat, western Victoria, have been lashed with wild weather
- Growers warned the storms have delayed potato sowing and caused shortages
- Farmers in Victoria, WA and Tasmania also battling fertiliser and transport costs
Australians are facing a hot chip crisis just weeks before Christmas after wild weather on the east coast ravaged potato crops.
Households are on high alert after farmers warned potatoes would be in short supply this month as pubs, restaurants, and supermarkets struggle to secure spuds.
Wild weather at potato farms in Ballarat in western Victoria has delayed potato sowing, with farmers issuing a sombre warning to fast food lovers.
Potatoes are usually planted in late October in the region, with weather conditions for planting expected to remain unsuitable until Christmas time.
Wild weather at potato farms in Ballarat in western Victoria has delayed potato sowing with famers issuing a somber warning to fast food lovers (stock image)
The delay has triggered a significant shortage on Australia’s east and west coast, which has been exacerbated by rising fertiliser and transport costs.
Potato growers say the cost of producing the popular root vegetable has doubled, but supermarkets were unwilling to budge on prices.
Venues in Western Australian are also battling lengthy delivery delays and have resorted to using potatoes scrounged from supermarkets.
Growers in Tasmania have also been affected by the hot chip shortage with supplies of fresh potatoes in supermarkets hitting an all-time low.
The delay has triggered a major shortage on Australia’s east and west coast which has been exacerbated by rising fertiliser and transport costs (east coast)
In November, farmers warned there would be a major shortage across Australia after falling three to four weeks behind growing schedule.
A fuel price surge and rising production costs are contributing to the crunch,
‘Fertiliser, wages, running equipment – everything has gone up through the roof,’ Victorian potato grower Tony Cummaudo told the Herald Sun in July.
Fellow spud farmer Rodney Guthrie said there is also a shortage of crop this year due to flooding which is contributing to the price hike.
Farmers have warned customers of a potential potato shortage in Victoria after a storm hit a major growing region near Ballarat, west of Melbourne
‘It’s usually $5 for a 5kg bag (of potatoes), but electricity and fuel have gone up and fertiliser has gone up by double,’ Mr Guthrie said.
‘The shortage started after the summer rains, which caused a shortfall in the growth season and the tonnes weren’t there compared to what we normally get.’
Vegetables including lettuce, carrots, zucchini, cauliflower and broccoli have also increased in price over the past couple months.
The price increase follows a wet start to the year with unprecedented rain and flooding spoiling crops in NSW and Queensland.