Consumers are warned that fruit and vegetable prices could rise following floods in affected key farming areas of NSW and Victoria.
Agriculture Secretary Murray Watt joined Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Monday to assess flood damage around Forbes in central west NSW.
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He told a media conference that the main agricultural regions were “very badly affected by the repeated floods”.
“It’s likely that these floods will have an impact on people’s cost of living due to the impact of fruit and vegetable prices,” Watt said.
The Department of Agriculture is trying to figure out what financial impact flooding will have on agricultural production in parts of NSW and Victoria.
“I think we can expect it to have a very big impact on the dollar…we don’t have exact dollar numbers, but we’re certainly working on it,” Watt said.
The federal and state governments are also discussing additional support for affected farmers.
In north Victoria, where flood waters continue to rise, farmers are anticipating the cost.
Victorian Farmers Federation President Emma Germano said it was too early to tell what impact this would have on food availability and prices.
“Flooding has significantly affected many parts of agriculture,” she told AAP on Monday.
“There will be significant impact and disruption to our supply chain in the coming months.”
Farmers in Victoria were expecting a record winter harvest, but analysts say they are now facing volume and quality downgrades due to excessive rainfall.
RaboBank released its Australian winter crop forecast on Monday, which found there was a significant impact on yields from low-lying crops, many of which are submerged in central and north Victoria.
“While Victoria was on track to break production records up until last week, we will have to wait for all of the forecast rains to come through and for the waters to recede to see the full effect,” said RaboBank’s Dennis Voznesenski.
“The unfavorable conditions mean that the harvest will likely drag on into January,” he said.
Flooding in parts of NSW and Victoria has resulted in washed out fields and unharvesable crops.
“The biggest impacts in Victoria are expected to be in low-line country…there are literally crops entirely underwater,” Voznesenski told AAP.
He said NSW had already felt the brunt of the flooding from excessive rain earlier in the year.
“Winter crops such as wheat, barley and oilseed rape have already been downgraded in NSW and we have now seen even more acreage affected,” he said.
https://7news.com.au/news/weather/flooding-in-nsw-and-vic-to-significantly-push-up-prices-of-fruit-and-vegetables-c-8567546 Flood warning NSW and Victoria: Floods will push up fruit and vegetable prices ‘significantly’