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Weather in Northwestern Idaho causes logistical issues for potato industry

Supply is looking very good for Idaho russets and quality is holding up. That market has been steady so far, but with the recent weather that North-western Idaho has been experiencing, it’s been causing some logistical issues. Aside from making sure trucks get out on time, “other than that it’s the normal course of business for potatoes,” says Eric Beck, Director of Marketing for Wada Farms Marketing Group.

Planting will begin in March but, as for growing conditions, Beck is optimistic about the amount of snowfall so far this year to help with water supply. “That’s not just in eastern Idaho, that’s clear across the state,” he said. “The same could be said for our operations in Colorado; we’re optimistic that the snowfall there will help out with the water situation as well.”

Beck doesn’t anticipate too much ebb and flow on prices in the market, adding - where prices are currently at will maintain until at least the summer months when there might be a bit of a climb, “but nothing substantial.”

Consumers prefer smaller packs
Overall consumption of potatoes is changing. Consumers are looking for more packs of smaller size, something Wada Farms has taken into consideration with its full range in sizes, from 1lb up to 20lbs. “What we’ve traditionally known as 5lb and 10lb bags are starting to shrink. Consumers want (smaller) packs of potatoes primarily because they don’t want food waste. We’re having to evolve as an industry just to accommodate that demand.” Value add is also important for the consumer. Beck carries items like Smalls Artisan Mini Potatoes, Easy-Baker Potatoes, and Microwave in Bag.

February is Potato Lover's Month
The holiday peak is done but with Idaho Potato Lover’s Month there will be a big push over the next month and a half. “It’s a good opportunity for retailers to push the Idaho brand and be able to command a premium for Idaho potatoes. That’s always something we look forward to every year.”

For more information:
Eric Beck
Wada Farms Marketing Group
Tel: 208-542-2898