Crop farmers feeling the heat

Extreme heat and reduced consumer demand for vegetables has paved the way for a difficult start to 2013 for some of Australia's crop farmers.

Wheat and barley prices are expected to jump as a result of the recent hot weather, which is also expected to damage the sorghum fodder grain crop.

The AFR reported that farmers are also facing a surge in water costs, as they struggle to keep their crops alive.

In addition, producers are also having to deal with a drop in demand for certain vegetables, with the hot weather causing a shift in consumers' appetites as well.

Jeff McSpedon, a vegetable farmer south of Bathurst in NSW, told AFR, "When it gets so hot people don't want cooked vegetables, they opt for salads.

"So cauilflower and broccoli growers in the area are battling the weather and have lost 30 percent in the value of their crop because people aren't buying it," he said.

The heat is also causing some crops to ripen faster than normal, which could lead to a shortage later on in the year, and is also affecting the appearance of some vegetables, with certain Asian green losing their sheen.


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