The potato industry of Washington State has lost $995,000,000 due to the pandemic, but according Chris Voigt of the Washington Potato Commission, things could have been far worse. In April, industry experts predicted there would be 1 billion pounds of unsold and/or wasted potatoes. But, as the phased reopening of each county’s economy in the state progressed and businesses reopened, processors bought back the 600,000,000 million pounds they initially left to the farmers.
As of this week, the last of the 600 million pounds of potatoes allotted to processing were used up. In addition to this, another 200 million pounds were also diverted to dehydrated potato products. As a result, only 200 million pounds of potatoes were donated, used as feed or went to waste.
Ifiberone.com quoted Voigt as saying that the biggest losses stemmed from farmers having to wait for new potato contracts as processors kept their old contracts and processed older potatoes due to excessive yield storage.