Diverted Potatoes Add Up

Published online: Jun 25, 2001
Potato Growers of Idaho reported in their weekly bulletin that markets have improved because of the two diversion programs growers participated in this year.

USDA reports show the federal program totaled 10.2 million cwt. Some 6.9 million of them were Idaho potatoes. Washington state diverted 738,000 cwt, Nebraska 440,000 cwt, Montana 416,000 cwt, North Dakota 374,246 cwt, Colorado 198,823 cwt and Wisconsin 190,000 cwt.

The Potato Management Company, formed and run in large part by Potato Growers of Idaho, disposed of 4.7 million cwt. PGI says the combined effort, coupled with storages with unpackable potatoes remaining, doubled carton prices last week.

PGI says that if Idaho would have gotten support from other states and the National Potato Council last fall, "more families probably would have been able to keep their farms."

Markets are expected to continue to improve throughout July until the early crop of Norkotahs is harvested in August.