Published online: Apr 06, 2009
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The proposed assessment rate increase received broad support across all potato producing regions with 91 percent in favor of increasing the assessment rate.

The board says in a statement that growers and handlers could begin paying the new rate at the earliest, in spring 2010.

"The global economy drives our businesses," USPB past chairman Bart Connors says. "Our exchange rates with foreign currencies have positively affected our export potential, but the costs of maintaining our international program have also increased.

"There is never a right time to discuss increasing the assessment rate, but I believe making this increase is the prudent choice required to maintain our important and valuable programs."

During FY2008, U.S. potatoes and potato product exports exceeded $1 billion, supported by the USPB's market access and development program initiatives.

The USPB's most recent grower survey demonstrated strong grower support and approval of USPB Programs. Some 83 percent of growers support the USPB's goals and strategies -- up 10 percent from the 2005 grower survey.