SPIRALING costs are putting pressure on Tasmanian potato farmers with the risk they could change their crops.
That's the view of Sisters Creek, Tas, farmer and chairman of the Simplot potato grower committee Leigh Elphinstone.
He said the cost of growing potatoes had gone up about 25 per cent.
"It is making it very tough and it is exposing us to great risk," he said.
"Costs are spiraling out of control. It has a huge effect on potatoes as it is one of the more expensive crops per hectare to grow.
"Fertiliser pricing has over 100 per cent in the last 12 months and that is driven by world supply.
"It is a huge cost to grow the potatoes for not enough return or reward."
"It was a pretty difficult season that we are in harvest for at the moment," he said.
"There have been a lot more quality issues with people's crops so the harvest has been delayed quite a bit because the quality hasn't been quite as good for what the company wants.
"It was a fairly late planting with a wet spring, so crops didn't grow into the ground at the timely manner that we would hope and we haven't had an ideal growing season so yields are well down.
"That put people's return well down on a year where cots have been as high as they have ever been.
"The morale has dropped and there are other options to look at. I think quite a few would be looking at other options like grain."
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