Retail Potato Sales Higher and Net Farm Income Forecast Lower
**Local health officials and farm groups continue efforts to provide more COVID-19 vaccinations for farm employees.
County Farm Bureaus and other groups have been helping to arrange vaccination clinics and surveying farmers to gauge local needs.
A number of clinics have been held, with more planned when vaccine supplies improve.
A clinic in Santa Cruz County provided vaccinations for 13-hundred farm employees.
**2020 was a year of unprecedented challenges for potato growers, but it was a pretty good year for retail potato sales, according to Potatoes USA data showing retail potato dollar sales for all categories increased 16% over 2019.
www.thepacker.com reports, with the pandemic lockdown driving foodservice businesses, the largest growth in dollar and volume sales for retail potato sales was from April through June, with all months growth over 9% for both.
Fresh potato sales increased by almost 21% in dollars and 15% in volume.
**The USDA's Economic Research Service indicates, "Net farm income, a broad measure of profits, is forecast to decrease 8.1% from 2020 to $111.4 billion in 2021.
According to www.agrimarketing.com, this expected decline follows a forecast increase of 45.7% in 2020.
ERS points out, "After reaching a record high in 2020, direct Government farm program payments are forecast to decrease 45.3% this year.
This decrease reflects lower anticipated payments from disaster assistance, mainly COVID-19-related.