Potatoes Amid Pandemic Pt 3

Potatoes Amid Pandemic Pt 3

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
I’m Bob Larson. The pandemic was a sucker punch for Washington potato growers, who grow mainly for processing, which shut down for a spell when many restaurants closed their doors.

But while it’s still not over, the Washington Potato Commission’s Matthew Blua says it’s not as dire as it once looked …

BLUA … “The future is looking brighter as restaurants continue to come back. And like I mentioned, this is a worldwide issue. I don’t think the issue in the United States was nearly as bad with regards to restaurants because so many French Fries are sold from quick service restaurants, the McDonalds of the world and other drive-thru’s, and they were all open.”

But, Blua says the sit-down restaurants were a solid hit …

BLUA … “And most countries don’t have nearly as many quick service restaurants as the United States. So, I think because of our overseas trading partners were importing fewer French Fries, that caused kind of a backlog of French Fries.”

As harvest gets ready to start, Blua says things are looking better, somewhat …

BLUA … “People are staying busy and the situation is a little bit better than it was a couple of months ago. You know, potato growers are, by nature, optimistic farmers so, you’ve to be an optimist to grow a potato because you’re investment up front is relatively huge at about $2,000 per acre.”

Blua says he’s proud of the way the optimistic growers reacted to the surplus by helping out others in need during these tough times.

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