Producers Take Advantage of Diversion

Published online: May 03, 2001
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Producers in six states have taken advantage of the USDA-announced, Farm Service Agency-run, and Agriculture Marketing Service-administered potato diversion program.

The diversion period started April 13 and will run for 10 more days to May 13.

In Idaho, 106 producers have signed up but the volume of potatoes being diverted is unknown and probably won't be known until the sign-up period ends on June 13.

Growers in Wisconsin, Michigan, Colorado, New Mexico, Idaho and Washington have participated so far. They will be paid $1 per cwt for russet potatoes that are used for charity, livestock feed, ethanol production, or disposed by spraying, burying or discing.

Potatoes offered for diversion must meet specific minimum U.S.-grade standards and must be inspected and certified by federal or federal-state inspectors prior to diversion.

Some $10,250,000 has been allocated for the program. However, if more potatoes than 10,250,000 bags are diverted, producers may only be paid on a percent of the potatoes diverted.

Idaho FSA officials say the sign-up to May 3 was far below what was anticipated.