Potato Purchase Funding Pt 2

Potato Purchase Funding Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
I’m Bob Larson. The USDA has come up with $50-million-dollars to purchase surplus potatoes and that’s welcome news for potato growers who are sitting on millions of pounds of excess spuds.

National Potato Council CEO Kam Quarles says the coronavirus has created a backlog …

QUARLES … “If the pipeline remains clogged up the economic impact of this pandemic is just going to continue to echo for well over a year.”

So, how far will $50-million go? …

QUARLES … “It’s a start. I think realistically what we’re looking at is for the fresh storage potatoes, we’ve got to move about $150-million worth of those.”

So unfortunately, Quarles says it’s just the first step …

QUARLES … “This Section 32 purchase, we want to get that right and then we’ve got to go back to Congress for more resources to try to do the rest of this.”

But, Quarles says the recent potato giveaways were phenomenal …

QUARLES … “It’s really remarkable that we’ve got producers who, their livelihoods are threatened right now and the first thought that they have is to get potatoes to the needy. And, I think that’s pretty remarkable and that’s just a different type of person who will start thinking of others even when their backs are really against the wall.”

Listen tomorrow for more on this USDA funding and the generosity of Washington potato growers.

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