b"MARKET NEWSPost Pandemic Demand Bounce BackPotatoes are in hot demand as society returns to normal with the pandemic end near.BY: ASHLEY ROBINSONWITH POTATO CROPS sproutingAs soon as the negotiations got across Canada and contracts settled,done with, the contracts were settled,We expect demand attention is turning to the post pandemicall the sudden it was like a race to seeto increase above pre future. Across North America, COVID-19who could raise the prices faster, Dale restrictions are easing as vaccination ratesLathim, executive director of the Potatopandemic levels. I mean, increase, meaning more people are sittingGrowers of Washington, Inc., said duringwere close to that now. KEVIN MACISSACat restaurants eating french fries againa presentation at the conference. It's a and, in some places, even watching procombination, but (demand) is definitely sports in person. picking up every month, more and more We expect demand to increase aboveand more returning to normal. As soon as the negotiations pre pandemic levels. I mean, we're closeAdding fuel to the fire, stocks ofgot done with, the to that now, Kevin MacIsaac, generalpotatoes from the 2020 crop are running manager of the United Potato Growerslow. As of June 1, Canadian potato stockscontracts were settled, all of Canada (UPGC), explains in a phonewere 20.7 per cent below the three-yearthe sudden it was like a interview. It's just a matter of how long itaverage at 14.9 million hundred weightrace to see who could raise will take to get to that level and the rollout(cwt), data from Agriculture and Agri-periodthe demand is definitely thereFood Canada showed. Fresh potatoesthe prices faster. DALE LATHIMfor those products. were down 3.6 per cent from the three-Processing contract volumes andyear average at 2.2 million cwt left in prices have increased across Canada,storage and processing down 23.9 perUnited Potato MacIsaac says. In Manitoba, where J.R.cent at 12.3 million cwt. Growers of Canada Simplot Company recently completedI think we'll be able to supply mostpredicting potato the expansion of its Portage la Prairieof the market demands. I've seen other plant, production has been ramped up.years where it comes down to if supplyacre increase of at Although its expected Manitoba growersis short, then the producers basically willleast 2.3%wont be able to fulfill all of the plantsput theirlet's say their least frequent needs and potatoes will have to becustomers on a bit of a ration basis or a bit shipped in from out of province.of a limited supply basisand their long- North American Final acreage numbers wont beterm customers they will look after those,Potato Market News released until mid-July by StatisticsMacIssac says.Canada, but many are expecting theTheres also worry about how theestimating 4.3% Canadian potato crop to be larger thispotato crop will fair this growing season.potato acreage year. UPGC is predicting acres willWestern Canada and even into southernincreaseincrease by at least 2.3 per cent, while theOntario and Quebec, have faced dry North American Potato Market News isgrowing conditions to start off the year calling for a 4.3 per cent increase.with some potatoes suffering from early At the Crop Transition Conference,season frost damage. Water supplies forJune 1 Canadian held in-person and virtually in Fargo,irrigation are also tight across Westernpotato stocksN.D. on June 14, there were concernsCanada. However, timely rains in late May20.7% below the raised processors didnt fully explainhave helped the crops look better. Outthree-year average future demand needs during contractin the Maritimes, growing conditions are negotiations.looking good despite last years drought.at 14.9 million cwt40SPUDSMART.COM Summer 2021"