Potatoes Amid Pandemic Pt 1

Potatoes Amid Pandemic Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
I’m Bob Larson. To call it a tough year for Washington potato growers during this pandemic would be a huge understatement. It began with some farmers plowing already planted acres under after most restaurants shut down, slashing demand to almost nothing.

But, Matthew Blua, with the Washington Potato Commission says things are starting to turn around …

BLUA … “Well Bob, we’re starting to feel a little better about things.”

And, here we are at the beginning of harvest season …

BLUA … “Well, we’re into our early harvest for sure. We’ve still got our main harvest of our late processing potatoes, will be harvested in September, October.”

But, Blua says some growers felt no choice but to cut their losses …

BLUA … “You’re right, we did plow some acres under. And, you know, at this point when they prep a field and plant the field, before potatoes come out of the ground they’ve invested as much as $2,000 per acre. And, some people had to make the tough decision to cut their losses rather than double their investment.”

And, Blua says we still had to sell last year’s potatoes …

BLUA … “But there were an awful lot of potatoes in storage. We did what we could do to get rid of some of them and gave a lot of them away, but potato growers who are really keen on that, that was their idea to try to help a lot of people out there that were really hurting from this pandemic. And, we gave away a million pounds of potatoes across the state and everybody really enjoyed doing that.”

Listen tomorrow for more.

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