In a letter to USDA Agricultural Marketing Service's Administrator, Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch and Representatives Mike Simpson and Walt Minnick are asking USDA to give favorable consideration to a pending request for purchase of fresh surplus potatoes for federal nutrition programs under the Section 32 programme.
The Delegation outlines the current potato market challenges.
"The growing conditions for the 2009 Idaho potato crop were almost perfect resulting in record yields and excellent quality. Therefore, the percentage of saleable potatoes is above average this year, and currently Idaho potato stocks on hand are nearly 13.5 percent more than last year's stocks, despite Idaho shipping 4.5 percent more than 2008 volumes.
"This situation has caused prices to drop, and prices have continued to be low for quite some time," the Delegation says.
"Potato growers are struggling right now with their returns, which are quite low. Without action, the combination of a high supply and low prices will drive many growers in the State of Idaho and throughout the country to go out of business.
"In today's financial market, trying to get financing for next year's crops could be quite difficult when producers present the returns for this year's crop."
US #potatoes used for processing totaled 280 million cwt, down 5% from 2014, according to the @USDA… https://t.co/PIIr5Zh571
The 300 exhibitors present were able to meet with their customers, at @PotatoEurope, in France, September 14-15… https://t.co/GAzRomGdR4
.@JBTFoodTech has signed a definitive agreement to purchase the assets of Cooling and Applied Technologies… https://t.co/i0ToLAk2nB