Washington Potato Surplus Pt 2

Washington Potato Surplus Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
I’m Bob Larson. With most restaurants, schools and other food services shut down, Washington potato growers find themselves with about a billion pounds of potatoes left in storage and processors advising them to halt planting.

Washington Potato Commission president Chris Voigt says growers are already heavily invested in next season …

VOIGT … “Well, I think overall we’ve lost about 32,000 acres in cuts for the crop that we would harvest this fall, plus, like I said, we’ve got 3-billion pounds in storage and probably 1-billion that’s not going to get processed and we’re going to have to find a home for it.”

That surplus and a questionable season ahead, Voigt says leaves growers in serious trouble …

VOIGT … “For example, when I said that some growers got cut, well they actually already rented the land, they already fertilized it, they already treated for some soil diseases, they bought the seed, so they had already spent $2,000/acre and then they get the word that oh well we don’t need those potatoes anymore. So, every grower is starting way in the hole.”

And that, Voigt says only includes the losses from field prep for next season …

VOIGT … “Still, we’ve got all these potatoes in storage and it’s not like they can really afford to just give them away. They’ve got to sell them, otherwise there’s a chance they’re going to lose their farms.”

Tune in tomorrow for more on the plight of Washington’s potato industry and if the USDA can do enough to bail them out.

Previous ReportWashington Potato Surplus Pt 1
Next ReportWashington Potato Surplus Pt 3