| 16.5°C Dublin

Potato prices to soar after €15m wipeout

Potato prices are set to soar because of the cold spell.

Thousands of acres of the crop have been frozen into the ground by the icy temperatures.

Shoppers could be forced to pay more for them if prices rise because of dwindling supplies, with carrots, cauliflowers and other winter veggies also at risk. Some €15m of potato crops have been lost to the cold weather, with 6,000 acres remaining unharvested as a result of the weather, the Irish Farmers Association said.

IFA potato committee chairman Thomas Carpenter said that at least three-quarters of these will be lost because potatoes which have frozen solid in the ground will rot and turn to mush when it thaws.

While there is no shortage of potatoes on supermarket shelves at the moment, farmers will need higher prices to survive the heavy losses, the farming chief warned.

"The situation is a wipeout for growers."