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US potato farmers reeling from 21% price decline

UPDATE: "US POTATO FARMERS REELING FROM 21% PRICE DECLINE." When the pandemic resulted in the abrupt closure of food service outlets – including restaurants, colleges and stadiums – demand for potatoes processed into french fries fell-off-the-cliff.
Sixty percent of the American potato crop is processed and potatoes made into French Fries lead the way. Thirty percent go though "tablestock" fresh channels like supermarkets, and the remaining 10% are grown as Certified Seed for next year's crop.
In the past economists have noted that a mere 5% potato oversupply can drop prices 30% nationally. During pandemic times Americans eating at home have bumped up 'table' sales 10% and potato chip consumption 5%. And yes, some processing Russet potatoes have been diverted into table channels and others have generously been given away.
However, the MASSIVE pandemic-generated over-supply of potatoes from the processing sector is taking it's toll and pushing down prices. Imagine losing a fifth off your own income and you begin to feel the plight potato farmers find themselves catapulted into. Caleb, Megan & Jim

"The COVID-19 pandemic caused U.S. potato prices to drop by about 21% from Jan. 15 through April 15, according to the industry’s surveys of potato growers and processors in major potato production areas…

"…the estimate was included in a June 22 letter to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue signed by 19 U.S. potato growing organizations, requesting that potatoes be made eligible for the highest payment classification under the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program…

"'Way before the initial program rolled out, we were having conversations with USDA,' Quarles said. 'I think they recognize overall only 2% of these payments are going out to the fruit and vegetable industry, and I think they’ve got to recognize they’ve got problems with the program.'"

US potato farmers reeling from 21% price decline

The COVID-19 pandemic caused U.S. potato prices to drop by about 21% from Jan. 15 through April 15, according to the industry’s surveys of potato growers and processors in major potato production a…


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