Potato industry could be impacted by coronavirus pandemic for years

The potatoes industry could feel the effects of COVID-19 for years. Many processing contracts were canceled as schools and restaurants closed down.

The Executive Director for the Washington State Potato Commission Chris Voigt says that potato seed farmers are working on varieties that will be used three years from now, so trying to find the correct balance could take a few growing seasons.

“Because all of our contracts in Washington state have been cut, anywhere from 10 percent to 100 percent, there was a lot of seed that was never used,” Voigt said. “So, there’s a lot of seed farms in those other states and here in Washington that are suffering financially, and no one knows if they are going to survive.”

Farmers with excess potatoes have been visiting different areas, giving them away to those in need.