Potato disposal is next hurdle

Ray Keenan, chair, United Potato Growers of Canada.

Canada’s farm leaders say that 760 million pounds of processing potatoes will need to be disposed as quickly as possible to make room for 2020 crop.

 

“There are a lot of potatoes which don’t have a home,” testified Ray Keenan, chair, United Potato Growers of Canada, to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food on May 15. Hardest hit provinces will be New Brunswick, Manitoba and Alberta, all with major potato processing plants. 

 

“The logistics of transforming these potatoes into small bags for food banks just aren’t there,” said Keenan. 

 

Composting or burying these potatoes must meet plant health requirements. And the Herculean job must be done in the next three months to make room for the 2020 crop. Potatoes don’t have an unlimited shelf life. 

 

Kevin MacIsaac, general manager, United Potato Growers of Canada, estimates the value of processing potatoes at $92 million and seed potatoes at $13 million. Processing potatoes comprise 70 per cent of the farmgate value of potatoes in Canada.   

 

Source:  House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food May 15, 2020 https://bit.ly/2WFHBNB

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Publish date: 
Monday, May 18, 2020

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