At least a dozen eastern Idaho potato growers could be out payment for their potatoes after selling them to a southern Idaho fresh packer.
The growers, who wished to remain anonymous, are out varying amounts for potatoes delivered during the 2000 marketing year, one by as much as $200,000.
"This is a very serious situation," an Idaho Falls, ID, grower who wished to remain unidentified, stated.
"We sold in good faith. My contract was for $4.75 and I thought that was good. I was promised partial payment last June. Nothing ever came. This is very unfair," he continued.
He said one of the smaller growers could lose his entire farm over the situation.
It is unknown if Idaho has a warehouse bankruptcy protection fund, which would partially pay growers for their losses. Idaho Department of Agriculture officials have not returned phone calls on the matter.
It has been learned that the fresh-packer has not filed for bankruptcy protection. However, the name of the fresh-packer has been changed and the entity is still buying and selling under a marketing group name.