Tight Supply Provides Opportunity For Local Potato Growers

It’s not a shortage, but there is a tight supply of potatoes on the open market. Chris Voigt Executive Director of the Washington state Potato Commission says the shortage to start 2020 started during last year’s harvest. He said a bizarre fall storm in late September dumped a lot of rain, and in some cases, snow on potato growing regions across eastern Idaho, the upper Midwest and southern Canada.

“So, those guys got hit bad, and lost a lot of the crop, whether it froze, or whether it flooded, and so it really tightened the market and tightened up supplies.  And so, processors are really looking for as many potatoes as they can get early on.  So, it’s important we get our crop in the ground right now.”

Voigt acknowledged that September storm dropped temperatures across the Columbia Basin, but did not cause the level of damage reported back east. He added growers across the Inland Northwest have been out in the fields for about a month, trying to get an early start to the 2020 growing season.

UPDATE: Voigt notified the Washington Ag Network Friday morning, that over the past couple of weeks, that tight supply has disappeared.

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