Western Australian Weather Woes

Published online: May 08, 2006
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Potatoes are rotting in the ground as waterlogged crops are making harvest difficult for the second year in a row for seed potato producers on Western Australia's south coast. Western Australian Growers Association spokesman Terry Ackley said wet summer and fall conditions have halted mechanical harvesting.

Swamps were still very wet from the last season and we never really had a hot, dry summer to dry them completely," he told the Australiand Broadcasting Corporation. "And of course this rain has been devastating again.

"Some losses I'd say are probably up around 25 or 30 percent and being after last year's devastatinng loss it takes you a long time now to recover."

Potato from the region usually account for A$3 million to A$4 million of the state's A$10 million industry, which exports to Southeast Asia and Mauritius.