Potato industry representatives attending the annual summer meeting of the Potato Marketing Association of North America came away saying they are adamant about the need for higher contract process prices.
Meeting July 8-10 in Summerside, PEI, Can., the group was encouraged by the report that U.S. potato acreage is down about 10 percent. Canadians believe growers there will also have lower acreage this year.
"With the already announced huge increase in the wholesale price of electricity in the West, the anticipated higher seed cost because of the reduction in seed acreage, and the ever increasing cost of fuel and petroleum-based agriculture chemicals, the group wants higher prices.
"Without a significant increase in contract prices, most growers will not be able to afford to continue to grow preseason contracted potatoes," Secretary Vernon Delong's release stated.
Dale Lathim, director of the Potato Growers of Washington, was selected new president, taking over for Gary Sloit of Manitoba who has served the past 10 years. Dwight Gardiner of named vice president for Canada and Jack Pressley, Oregon grower, was named vice president for the United States. Delong will continue as secretary.