Maine professor explains how fires impacting crops in Australia

Published: Jan. 16, 2020 at 5:44 PM EST
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A specialist in potatoes, Steve Johnson has dealt with wet conditions and pests, but he's never had to deal with major fire conditions threatening crops - until now. Johnson is spending the winter in Victoria, Australia, working with potato specialists there. Victoria is located about 100 miles east of Kangaroo Island, one of the areas hardest hit by wildfires.

"One of the problems with Kangaroo Island is it's also an early generation seed area. At least two growers have lost their entire crop. Their buildings exploded from the fire. Their machinery has been burned up. It's a total loss for them. The price of produce in the country's gonna go up because of that and the rest of the fires," says Steve Johnson.

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