b'McCain, continued to purchase potatoes and sell them in alternative marketplaces, often at a loss. Some potatoes were given to food banks while others were sold into the dehydrated potato prod-ucts market, and some went for livestock feed.With the economy being reopened, especially in the U.S., were beginning to call those workers back and are beginning to add processing time back to the lines, Dawe says. However, demand will still be down over the next year and McCain has reduced its contract volumes by 15 to 20 per cent in Canada.On Chad Berrys processing potato farm near Glenboro, Man. the first month of the pandemic was scary. Berry had been planning on increasing his potato acreage this year to help supply J.R.Workers at ChadSimplots recently expanded plant at Portage laBerrys farm near Glenboro, Prairie, Man.Man. cut potato seed to No one knew up till the start of planting whatprepare for planting. Berry had we were going to do, Berry says in a phone inter- been planning on increasing view. Everyone was cautious and didnt take anyhis acres this year but instead his acreage will be closer to extra on then they had to. His acreage this year isyears past.now closer to what he has planted in years past.PHOTO: CHAD BERRYHis potato shipments to Simplot were pushed back, however the plant is going to be able to take all of his spuds. This is causing extra stress as he has workers preparing and shipping potatoes instead of out in the fields planting.The pandemics slowed down movement on a lot of things. Everythings going to be pushed backour direct harvest is pushed back to the end of August, Berry explains. Itll make harvest a lot more intense because were trying to do six weeks work in four weeks instead.PANIC STOCKPILINGAs Canadians prepared to hunker down at home and flatten the curve, they flocked to grocery stores buying staple foods which would keep for longer periods of timeincluding fresh potatoes. At the start no one knew exactly what the new reality was and when they would be able to make it to a grocery store again. Across Canada fresh potato sales skyrocketedFrench fries made atand grocery stores found themselves sold out ofMcCain Foods processingspuds as shoppers stockpiled. Winnipeg, Man.- plant in Coaldale, Alta.based Peak of the Market, which has operationsMcCain has faced decreased in Manitoba and Alberta, recorded its largestfrench fry sales internationallyas the pandemic has forcedsales ever for the month of Marchthe marketfood service establishmentsco-operative has been operating for 78 years. to close. We pretty much ran 24 hours a day for aboutPHOTO: MCCAIN FOODStwo weeks to make sure that we supplied all the retailers the potatoes they needed, Larry 6 SPUDSMART.COM SUMMER 2020'