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Vegetable prices grow as crops rot

Vegetable costs have bolted as wet and humid weather takes its toll.

Photo: natavkusidey/123RF

Nationwide, vegetables such as cauliflower have jumped up to $10 a head - more than double the usual cost.

Horticulture New Zealand chief executive Mike Chapman said heavy rain across many parts of the country, Cyclone Gita and high humidity are causing crops to go to seed or rot.

"Lettuce has bolted, broccoli heads are rotting - it's just terrible," Mr Chapman said.

The limited supply means growers are losing production and money, he said.

"Growers are losing $100,000 a week because they just can't grow the range of vegetables they normally grow," Mr Chapman said.

And it will affect the workers and the rural community, he said.

"Those prices don't get back to the grower because the grower has lost production," he said.

Growers need help with better protective measures against the weather, especially as major climatic events become more frequent, he said.

"What you can do, is ensure the vegetables are grown throughout New Zealand and there is good roading infrastructure."

He said the government could issue National Policy Statements to protect growers, the soil and growing areas, Under the Resource Management Act.

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