Potato Purchase Funding Pt 1

Potato Purchase Funding Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
I’m Bob Larson. The USDA is putting together a $50-million-dollar surplus potato purchase to support an industry that’s sitting on over a billion pounds of stored potatoes left homeless with the closure of restaurants.

National Potato Council CEO Kam Quarles says this is a great first step to aid growers who stand to lose their livelihoods …

QUARLES … “I think we said initially when Congress rolled out that first stimulus bill, we considered it a down payment on what the potato industry needs and I think that was right. You know, it is a down payment. We’ve got to get more.”

But for now, Quarles says this is great news …

QUARLES … “It’s very positive that they’ve taken this first step. It provides some clarity for what we can anticipate. We’re going to see, here in the short-term and now we’ve got to go back to Congress and get more.”

With all those potatoes sitting in storage, I asked Quarles if this is news our Washington growers should be encouraged by …

QUARLES … “I think that it definitely is. We want to sit down with USDA and talk with them about exactly how they’re going to structure these purchases, but you’re exactly right Bob, the first priority is to move those 2019 storage potatoes so that it creates options for folks who are planning right now for 2020.”

Quarles says it should help in unclogging the processed potato pipeline.

Tune in tomorrow for more on this welcome funding for struggling potato farmers.

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