Nov 17, 2021
Potato wart detected in PEI fields, seed suspended to US

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) recently reported the detection of potato wart in two fields where potatoes were being grown for processing. While CFIA indicates that the potatoes did not leave the island, it announced it has suspended the export of seed potatoes from PEI to the United States.

On Nov. 5, USDA’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) hosted a call with the National Potato Council, Potatoes USA and the state potato organizations to talk through its joint efforts with CFIA to determine if further restrictions are needed.

“We appreciate the efforts of APHIS to limit the spread of potato wart beyond PEI,” said NPC President Dominic LaJoie, potato grower from Maine. “We can see Canada from our farm, so this issue hits very close to home. We have communicated our concerns that repeated detections of potato wart in PEI shows the disease situation is not under control with the current management plan that’s in place. We have urged USDA to push CFIA to expand these measures by voluntarily suspending all PEI potato exports to the U.S., restricting the movement of PEI potatoes within Canada to prevent inadvertent disease transmission, and restricting equipment from crossing into the United States.”

White House hunger conference expected next year

On Nov. 2, the U.S. Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Food and Nutrition, Specialty Crops, Organics, and Research hosted a hearing on the “State of Nutrition in America 2021.” During the event, Chairman Booker and Ranking Member Braun recommended moving forward with a bipartisan, bicameral bill that would convene a second national White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, Hunger and Health.

The last such conference, which was convened in 1969 by President Richard Nixon, led to significant changes in federal nutrition policy, including the eventual creation of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women Infants and Children. It also developed a formalized federal approach to the nutrition of the nation’s school lunches.

During the subcommittee hearing, witnesses outlined possible solutions to improve nutrition in America, including coordinating federal food policies, leveraging “food is medicine” initiatives, decreasing the marketing of processed foods, subsidizing healthy foods, and strengthening federal nutrition programs.

Expo sessions to tackle rising prices

Potato Expo 2022, Jan. 5-6 in Anaheim, will feature two sessions focusing on rising prices and volatility in inputs.

Live Eye On Potatoes Podcast Recording: Inflation Forecast — How Will Rising Prices Impact the Industry? Consolidation of the supply chain, weather events, port congestion, along with fiscal and trade policies are all having inflationary impacts on the potato supply chain. Gain insight around these factors and what they will mean to the 2022 crop season.

Volatility In Inputs — 2022 Production Cost Forecast: Using modeling that includes the use of historical potato prices and input costs, you won’t want to miss hearing about profitability forecasts and probability scenarios to understand the impact of volatile input prices on potato production for the coming year.

Both sessions will feature Pat Hatzenbuehler, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology at the University of Idaho. An award-winning scholar, Hatzenbuehler will discuss how his evidence-based research and extension work on agricultural commodity markets helps him forecast this volatile market.

PLEAF auction bidding starts Dec. 1

Biding starts next month for the Potato Expo 2022 silent auction to benefit the Potato Leadership, Education, and Advancement Foundation (Potato LEAF).

Interested in donating items to benefit the industry’s leadership development efforts? Potato LEAF is accepting donations through Nov. 30. Click here to learn more.

— National Potato Council

75 Applewood Dr. Ste. A
P.O. Box 128
Sparta, MI 49345


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