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Potato seeds poking out of the dirt

Pandemic Wrecks Potato Planting Plans

As french fry sales plunge and fresh potato and chip sales surge due to the COVID-19 pandemic, processors are struggling to gauge future market demand leaving farmers in the flux as they start planting this year’s crop, the April 1 issue of North American Potato Market News says. As restaurants have shutdown or closed in-restaurant seating, french fry sales globally have dropped. Fries are starting to pile up and plants are slowing…

French fries

French Fry Sales Slide

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause restaurants across North America to shut down and limit operations, demand for french fries has dropped significantly, the March 25 issue of North American Potato Market News says. Demand for fresh potatoes in grocery stores has rose as shoppers have stockpiled supplies, however traffic at fast-casual restaurants dropped by 78 per cent compared to last year, the report says. Over 80 per cent of North American…

Grocery store potatoes

Pandemic Potato Sale Surge

The early weeks of the COVID-19 lockdown have shoppers stockpiling groceries, which is pushing fresh potato sales across Canada to record levels. The spud is versatile food, it can be used in various dishes and stores well — so it makes sense shoppers would turn to it as they plan to hunker down for an unknown amount of time during the novel coronavirus pandemic. In mid-March the federal and provincial governments across…

Grocery store potatoes

Virus Panic Has Shoppers Stockpiling Fresh Potatoes

As North American shoppers stock up on non-perishable foods in order to practice social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, packers are having difficulty keeping up with retail demand, the March 18 issue of North American Potato Market News says. “As consumers eat out less often they need to replace those meals with food prepared at home. Potatoes may be the most versatile vegetable for them to use,” the report says. “That would…

COVID-19

Too Early to Gauge COVID-19 Impact on Potato Markets

As COVID-19 wreaks havoc on markets around the world, the potato markets are also starting to see an impact, however it is too early too tell what the exact longterm affect it will be, the March 11 issue of North American Potato Market News says. The newsletter says there are concerns about the impact of COVID-19 on potatoes and potato product sales — however sales may rise, both domestically in North America…

Potato chips spilling out of a bag

Smaller Chips

Shifting consumer habits have potato chip companies making smaller bags, requiring smaller chips and therefore smaller potatoes. Great things come in small packages may just be the idea the potato chip industry is following. As consumers are asking for more “snackable” options, potato chip companies are responding with smaller bags and they’re now asking farmers for smaller potatoes for those bags. Most chip processing plants were built when “big potatoes filled larger…

Pile of potatoes

Japan Top Export Market for U.S. Potato Products

The United States exported nearly US$348 million worth of potatoes and potato products to Japan in 2018, making the Asian nation the number one overseas market for U.S. potatoes, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service report. Japan is a major importer of cooked and prepared frozen products, with the U.S. accounting for nearly 70 per cent of Japan’s total imports annually. Japan’s market for U.S. potato products is…

Eye On The Nation

Winter 2020 ALBERTA  Terence Hochstein, Executive Director, Potato Growers of Alberta  Only in Alberta can you go from -35 C on Friday to 2 C on Sunday morning. Such is the life in the Chinook belt of southern Alberta. The winter in Alberta has been a mixed bag to say the least. Three feet of snow at the end of September, then it’s gone for a while, then another couple of feet,…

Pile of potatoes

Market News Winter 2020

Total potato production in Canada in 2019 was 106.6 million hundredweight, a four per cent increase from 2018, according to Statistics Canada figures released Dec. 13. The 2019 figures also show an average potato yield in Canada of just over 312 hundredweight per acre, a seven per cent increase from the previous year. According to Kevin MacIsaac, general manager of the United Potato Growers of Canada, the total production number could have…

LEMKEN enhances footprint in Canada, Scott Rodger appointed as Managing Director

LEMKEN, one of Europe’s leading manufacturers for soil cultivation, seeding and crop care machinery, settled down in 2018 LEMKEN Canada Inc. as a fully-fledged subsidiary after two successful decades offering products and service all over the country. Scott Rodger leads the subsidiary from January 2020 as managing director and sales manager. With him, LEMKEN has found a broadly experienced and passionate ag professional. Rodger holds a Bachelor in Business Administration and brings a work history range of over…

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