Potato Challenges Pt 2

Potato Challenges Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, I’m Bob Larson. The challenges of the past couple of years appear to be fading … at least a little. COVID was followed with changes we weren’t expecting, like inflation and supply chain challenges.

Washington Potato Commission’s Executive Director, Chris Voigt says the empty container phenomenon was killing us until Congressed stepped in …

VOIGT … “It was a bipartisan bill that really kind of gave the federal maritime commission a little bit more power in holding the shipping lines more accountable to say, hey, if you’re going to, you know use U.S. ports, you’ve got to provide service. You know, you can’t just bring stuff here, you’ve got to get our exports out. So, they’ve set up some really good enforcement tools.”

But inflation, Voigt says may be with us for a while …

VOIGT … “Probably the biggest thing right now is the level of input costs for growers. And that’s always a concern because fertilizer and other inputs are just sky-high, and then also fuel costs. And it’s like, boy, how do we make this pencil out? We were hoping that we could get a fair price for your potatoes at the end after you spend all this money.”

Aside from that, Voigt says, things could be worse …

VOIGT … “Now, you know, as things have kind of calmed down a little bit from that, there’s still difficult challenges sometimes, but it’s not nearly as bad as they had. So, I’d like to say now, we’re finally kind of right back to “normal.”

Voigt says growers are sharpening their pencils and will be as efficient as possible hoping inflation eases sooner than later.

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