Idaho Growers Pleased With Turn-around

Published online: Mar 29, 2004
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Idaho potato growers were pleased last week when Simplot returned some 5,000 acres of contracted potatoes to Idaho.

Potato Growers of Idaho reported that most of the acreage will be coming back to Idaho, with some in eastern Oregon.

PGI says it strongly believes the reason for the switch of acres [probably from Canada] is in response to higher qualilty french fry demands by McDonalds.

PGI is hopeful this is the beginning of a trend for restaurants to realize that the quality of the potatoes they serve is more important than merely buying them for the lowest price.

Some reports made to PGI say that a requirement was that the seed for the 5,000 acres be purchased in Canada. But more recent reports are that the seed deal fell through and there may be markets for additional Idaho seed.

PGI asked Idaho growers to support seed growers belonging to PGI. They also reminded commercial growers to ask for the seed to meet the standards required of Idaho seed growers. It should be tagged and a certificate of inspection made available.

Idaho seed growers say there is still talk about the bacterial ring rot problem in Canadian seed but that lower prices may continue to keep Canadian seed flowing into the United States.