The Idaho-Eastern Oregon Potato Committee doesn't often make changes but agreed to allow No. 2 potatoes to be shipped by bag or carton.
All eight members of the Committee agreed that if major food customers wanted potatoes in boxes rather than bags, they'd comply rather than lose business.
Two major food wholesalers, Sysco Foods and Markon Foods, made the request. Together they purchase about 3.5 million cwt of potatoes a year.
The only drawback is the cost of boxing No. 2s instead of putting them in balers that hold five 10-pound mesh or poly bags.
The request is for convenience in handling the potatoes. The buyers said they would be willing to cover the extra cost. New automation makes it easier and faster to sort cartons with scan codes. Cartons also are easier to stack on pallets than balers.