About 150 growers-most standing in support-attended a Potato Management Company meeting in Idaho Falls, ID, Wednesday, Dec. 27.
PMC spokesmen passed out diversion agreements and asked growers to put their names on the line stipulating they would divert about 10 percent of their crop to help the down market.
It was the second meeting for the group in Idaho. A third will be held Jan. 10 at 1 p.m. at the Burley Inn in Burley, ID, for growers in southern Idaho.
Another meeting is set at 1 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel in Pasco, WA, Thursday, Jan. 4, 2001, for growers in Washington state and Oregon.
Many growers-55 after the Wednesday meeting-have already committed themselves to the idea of diverting to try to move surplus potato stocks. The PMC has given growers a deadline of Jan. 15 to make a final commitment
If at least 10 million cwt (for Idaho) has not been consigned to the self-help diversion program by that date, the effort will be disbanded and funds returned. Growers are being asked for $500 to join the company. They will be paid $1 for their potatoes and be charged two cents per cwt for those potatoes diverted.
Growers were told the best place to spread their potatoes would be on fields going into grain. The potatoes will have fertilizer benefits. There will also be a charitable food program conducted in each area.