Home' The Great Southern Star : November 15th 2016 Contents “THE STAR” Tuesday, November 15, 2016 - PAGE 37
By Stuart Biggins
IN a bizarre set of circumstances, a week
ago a spring heatwave sparked fires in
The fires raged all along the NSW coast from
the Victorian border all the way up the coast to the
Have you noticed the price of potatoes in the
supermarket in the past week?
It is almost through the roof.
IGA fresh food specialist Dom D’Agostino
says it is tough in the potato market at the mo-
“I haven’t seen prices this high for a very long
time,” he said.
The reason for this is not bushfires threatening
life and limb in the state to our north but the floods
which preceded them.
While Mirboo North and Thorpdale are well
known for producing potatoes, at this time of the
year it is planting, not harvesting, season.
To maintain cash flow during the stretch of the
year when potatoes aren’t being harvested locally,
farmers truck potatoes in from South Australia,
Empty sheds: Rod Gregg from Mancarella
Potatoes in Mirboo North, stood in a deserted
farmyard last Wednesday, amongst idle ma-
chinery with barely a bag of potatoes in sight
anywhere. IGA’s fresh food specialist Dom
D’Agostino said he hasn’t seen prices as high
as they are now for a very long time.”
One potato, two potato
not too many more
TONY Cummaudo from Cummaudo
Potatoes, Mirboo North said that despite
potatoes being at a price not seen for a
long time they are still good value con-
sidering what you can do with the hum-
He pointed out that when it cools, the digest-
ible starch in cooked potato turns into resistant
starch through a process called retrogradation and
recommended people add it to their diet.
Resistant starch functions as a kind of soluble
fibre and can have powerful health benefits.
These include improved insulin sensitivity,
lower blood sugar levels, reduced appetite and
various benefits for digestion.
There are 4 different types of resistant starch
with type one found in grains, seeds and le-
It resists digestion because it is bound within
the fibrous cell walls.
The second type is found in some starchy
foods including raw potatoes and green (unripe)
The next type is formed when certain starchy
foods, including potatoes and rice, are cooked
and then cooled.
The cooling turns some of the digestible
starches into resistant starches.
The fourth type is man-made and formed
through a chemical process.
The classification is not that simple, though,
as several different types of resistant starch can
co-exist in the same food and depending on how
foods are prepared, the amount of resistant starch
changes (allowing a banana to turn yellow – ripen
- will degrade the resistant starches and turn them
into regular starches).
lowering of prices to begin in a couple of weeks
when the Orbost grown potatoes begin to hit the
Mr Cummaudo said, “Even at the current price
potatoes are still good value considering what you
can do with them.”
He said that people should be aware of refrig-
erating leftover cooked potato to turn the digest-
ible starch into resistant starch which has consid-
erable health benefits.
New South Wales and Queensland.
In SA and NSW higher than average spring
rainfalls have forced farmers to leave their crops
in the ground to rot.
In a normal season the huge semi trailors ar-
riving from interstate provide work for packers
who clean, grade and pack the potatoes ready for
Rod Gregg from Mancarella Potatoes in Mir-
boo North reported that the company’s five pack-
ers last week had only four hours work.
The shortage has caused the price to hike in
much the same way as cyclone damage to banana
plantations a couple of times in recent years sent
the price of bananas skyrocketing into the realm
of a luxury purchase.
A Thorpdale farmer said he cannot afford the
$1700 per tonne being asked for unwashed, un-
He cannot compete with other larger distribu-
tors such as Cummaudo Farms and Mancarello
A four kilogram bag is retailing for $8.99 at
the moment and some supermarkets are attempt-
ing to price themselves into the market by de-
ception, maintaining the price but reducing the
weight to 3.5
Tony Cummuado from Cummaudo Potatoes in
Mirboo North said clearly the price is high at the
moment but is having little impact on his com-
He said the company has a wide network of
growers across NSW, QLD and SA, plans for-
ward estimates carefully and lets growers know
of Cummaudo’s requirements.
It also has the ability to store potatoes for a
length of time to hedge against any drop offs in
“At the moment we are lifting potatoes out of
the ground on the Atherton Tableland inland from
Cairns in Far North Queensland,” Mr Cummaudo
“We minimise our exposure to risk by having
a spread of growers.”
Cummaudo has had potatoes in the ground
since mid August and will begin to harvest in mid
The neighboring Thorpdale harvest is timed to
begin in mid January.
In the meantime, we can expect the seasonal
Resistant starch benefits health
MEENIYAN will feature in a docu-
mentary showing dairying communities
To celebrate the success of the LEGENDAIRY
Capital program, Dairy Australia has launched
the documentary featuring dairy farmers and the
regional communities that participated in last
year’s inaugural program.
Meeniyan was named one of Australia’s
LEGENDAIRY capitals in the Dairy Australia
Among the Meeniyan characters to appear in
the documentary are dairy farmers Fay Sinclair
and Tim Calder, livestock specialist Andrew
Mackie, Marty Thomas of Moo’s restaurant,
current South Gippsland Shire Councillor
Andrew McEwen and former councillors Bob
Newton and Jeanette Harding.
The documentary shines a light on the people
who have helped – and continue to help – shape
Australia’s vibrant dairy regions.
Dairy Australia program manager Suzi O’Dell
said the documentary celebrated the valuable
contribution dairy farmers make to their local
“As part of the program last year, we visited
each of the eight finalist communities and met
hundreds of people who shared their inspiring
stories of community support and of the
contribution dairy farmers make to the social
fabric of their towns,” she said.
To watch the documentary, visit: www.
appears at the 16:36 minute mark.
All together: a scene from the Meeniyan segment in the Dairy Australia documentary cel-
ebrating dairying communities.
Dairy documentary celebrates Meeniyan
Spruiking Meeniyan: dairy farmer Fay
Sinclair talks about why Meeniyan is a
LEGENDAIRY place to work and live, in
the Dairy Australia documentary.
Links Archive November 8th 2016 November 22nd 2016 Navigation Previous Page Next Page