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Lettuce shortage returns after some bad weather

Extreme weather is to blame for salads being absent from supermarket shelves in New Zealand again. Recent rains hampered growing business Leaderbrand's ability to harvest and plant crops; tractors could not go out in the fields when there was too much mud. This meant one bad week of weather could throw out a planting schedule for weeks and lead to supply issues at supermarkets.

Leaderbrand's chief executive Richard Burke said that, although the company had recently invested in indoor growing facilities, it was not a silver bullet that would assure an uninterrupted supply of fresh produce. Changing from outdoors to indoor growing was not necessarily the right financial move for growers because the cost of building indoor growing facilities can be more than $1 million per hectare.

This can mean that although outdoor growing is affected by weather extremes, it can still be more competitive to grow fresh produce outdoors.


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