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The price of some common vegetables will spike in the coming weeks due to heavy flooding in north-west Sydney, the state’s peak farming body has warned.
The rich horticultural basin of Richmond, which nestles up against the banks of the overflowing Hawkesbury River, has been swamped by wild weather, and the costs are expected to reverberate through food supply chains to supermarket shelves.

NSW Farmers President James Jackson told farmers in the flood-stricken area produce around $1 billion of food annually, “so the impact is quite significant”.

Major flooding has inundated large parts of north-west Sydney.
Major flooding has inundated large parts of north-west Sydney.
(Getty / Jenny Evans)
Shoppers will likely see fewer cabbages, cauliflowers and broccoli on supermarket shelves, he said, and any surviving produce will inevitably cost more.

“When supplies reduce, prices go up,” Jackson said, predicting metropolitan Sydney residents would be the people mainly affected.

“It’s hard to tell how long the impact from this flooding will last but certainly it will be significant for consumers.

“For farmers, it will take even longer to clean up, rebuild and recover.”

Growers in Richmond have copped the worst of July’s flooding, but farms and orchards in the state’s central west have also been hammered by torrential rain.

Jackson said some farmers in the Hunter Valley have had their paddocks drowned for a third time this year.

Matt Dalgleish, an analyst with Thomas Elder Markets, agreed that looming supply line problems would likely be localised to Sydney.

“This kind of flooding is not usually something that causes widespread implications,” he said.

The Hawkesbury River suffered heavy flooding in March, causing widespread damage to properties and farms.
The Hawkesbury River suffered heavy flooding in March, causing widespread damage to properties and farms. (Nine / Brook Mitchell)

“Some of these horticultural regions gravitate towards high rainfall areas and highest fertility soil, and so they are often in lowland areas that do get flooded.”

Poor weather earlier this year in parts of northern New South Wales and Queensland triggered lettuce shortages in supermarkets throughout May and June.

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