Ireland could be heading for a major crisp shortage
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Ireland could be heading for a major crisp shortage

IRELAND COULD soon be hit by a crisp shortage as result the extreme weather conditions witnessed across the country over the past 12 months.

That's according to Tom Keogh of Keogh's Crisps who revealed to The Irish Independent that a long drought had had a detrimental effect on their Irish potato crop.

Speaking to Catherine Devine at the Ploughing Championships in Tullamore, Keogh admitted it had been a "very, very difficult" due to spring coming later in Ireland this year, leading to a delayed planting season

A subsequent lack of rainfall also resulted in a reduction of around 30% in their crop, with the heavy rains that followed creating another problem.

Having shut down during the dry weather, the sudden rainfall saw the crop begin to grow again, aborting the old potato previously grown in the process.

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By August, the unpredictable weather had seen the crop react as if it were spring, growing again as a result.

The upshot is that Keogh's Crisps'  planned harvest has been pushed back to the middle of October.

A selection of crisps.

As a result, a crisp shortage could hit Ireland in the interim - though there's still plenty of time to stock up.

"You will not see an issue in the crisp trade until after March 2019, because we are still harvesting at the moment every day and that will continue," Keogh told The Irish Independent.

"It's only when the harvest will finish that we can say 'we're actually back 40% this year' and then we can put proper plans in place."

The next 12 months could prove to be very testing times for pub dwellers with the price of beer and other alcoholic drinks like whiskey also set to rise as a result of the unpredictable weather.

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Heineken estimates prices could rise by as much as 16% as a result of difficult farming conditions and rising manufacturing costs.