Potato Challenges Pt 1

Potato Challenges Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, I’m Bob Larson. It’s no secret, but it’s been a rough couple of years for agriculture, with inflation and weather and regulations, etc., taking their toll on producers.

Chris Voigt, Executive Director at the Washington Potato Commission, says it has been hard, but things are looking better …

VOIGT … “I’d like to say we’re, I think we’re finally back to normal, but it took us a couple years to get there.”

A few years ago, Voigt says, things were really good …

VOIGT … “Prior to COVID, we couldn’t keep up with demand. And the export markets were exploding, there was strong demand domestically, and literally we were tapped out. We were growing as many potatoes as we could, on the acreage we could find.”

But then, Voigt says, January 2020 …

VOIGT … “And then COVID hit and, obviously, that was detrimental when they shut down the restaurants. We had a lot of potatoes to give away. And it took us a couple of years to recover from that. But not only COVID, but then also sort of the shipping crisis.”

Which, Voigt says included the “empty container” phenomenon …

VOIGT … “And so, the shipping companies were making more money by returning their containers empty and refilling them and bring them back to the states because they could turn-and-burn faster. So, it was a real struggle to try to get our potatoes and French fries overseas.”

Tune in tomorrow for more on the recent challenges for the potato industry.

Previous ReportFarm Internship Bill
Next ReportPotato Challenges Pt 2